Arkansas Tree Database

Black Cherry

Black Cherry

Scientific name:

Prunus Serotina


80' tall, up to 100' tall


alternate, simple, edges broken with many fine incurved teeth, bitter almond odor and taste; shiny green above, paler beneath


3" drooping clusters with 20 or more small white flowers; March-April


red to purplish and nearly black when ripe, 1/4" diameter, berry-like fruit (called a drupe), edible but slightly bitter, eaten by many birds and mammals; July-August

Fall Interest:

reddish orange, yellow; deciduous


sun to partial sun; medium moisture, well-drained soil; adaptable from moist to dry



commercially valuable wood for furniture and woodworking, second in demand only to black walnut



bark smooth with narrow white horizontal lines (lenticels) on young trees, on old trees bark rough and broken into thick irregular plates with turned back edges, showing reddish bark beneath; dangerous to livestock because of cyanide in the leaves; good source of nectar and possibly pollen for bees; host plant for butterflies and moths; native to Arkansas


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Black cherry bark on trunk Black cherry bark on trunk of young tree Black cherry bark on trunk Black cherry bark on trunk Black cherry bark on trunk Black cherry flowers in raceme Black cherry flowers Black cherry fall foliage Black cherry leaf, showing finely toothed margins Black cherry fruit Black cherry tree, fall Black cherry twig with bud