Wild Cherry
(Prunus avium)
Simple
Roundish
Alternate
Toothed
9-15 pairs of veins
Simple
Roundish
Alternate
Toothed
leaves >10 cm

leaves

Winter twig
Winter twig

tree and flowers

distribution map

The elliptical leaves are alternate, 6-15 cm long, with a saw-edged margin. They are light green and hairless above but have persistent appressed hairs beneath. The leaf stalks are up to 5 cm long with 2 large glands at the leaf end.

ID check

Wild cherry is an open-branched deciduous tree, up to 25 m in height, which suckers freely and has a smooth, reddish brown bark marked with horizontal lines. It grows in lowland woods, often forming an understorey below oak.

The 5-petalled white flowers are arranged in clusters of 2-6 on stalks 2-5 cm long. They appear in April and May

The fruits, which ripen by July, are roundish, bright or dark red and usually sour.

Facts

  • The trees are self-sterile. Two or more trees are needed to produce fertile fruit.

  • The 'cherries' are relished by large birds, like starlings and pigeons, despite their sourness.

  • The leaves are attacked by forest bugs, one of our largest shield bugs.

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