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Black Cherry

Will Ship Spring 2024

Plant Type: Dormant, bare-root

Zones:  3-9

Soil Type:  Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun, Partial Sun

Mature Height & Width:  60-80'+ Height and 25-35' Spread

Growth Rate:  Fast - 24" or more per year once established

Moisture Requirements: Average soils

Plant Characteristics

Black Cherry

Prunus serotina

The Black Cherry tree flowers profusely with elongated, almost bottle brush shaped, fragrant flower clusters in the spring. Leaves are dark green and turn yellow in autumn. Its bark is broken and dark grey to black in appearance, and looks to some like burnt potato chips. In autumn, the cherries ripen and are edible, commonly used in making great pies and wines. This Black Cherry variety is hardy in northern areas down to zone 3. An excellent choice for foresting an area for future harvest as this tree provides very valuable timber. This cherry likes moist, rich soil and full sun but grows well in other locations as well.

This selection is sometimes also known as the Mountain Black Cherry or the Rum Cherry.

For highest cherry yield, the Black Cherry should be planted in full sun.  This selection is also drought tolerant once it is established.

Special Note:  Livestock caretakers should use caution when planting on their property.  The bark, twigs, leaves and cherry pits (seeds) contain cyanide which can harm livestock.  Other wildlife are seemingly unaffected. 

Common uses for the Black Cherry tree:

  • Investment timber, valuable yield
  • Beautiful wood used by wood workers
  • Nice show of fragrant flowers in spring
  • Cherries eaten raw and used for making jams, pies, wine and liquors

The Black cherry provides important food for numerous species of song and game birds as well as red fox, black bear,  raccoon, opposum, squirrels and hares.  The cherries are eaten by birds such as the American Robin, Brown Thrasher, Nothern Mockingbird, Eastern Bluebird, Gray Catbird, Bluejay, Nothern Cardinal, Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, Crows and many types of Woodpeckers.

Many birds and mammals eat Black Cherry fruit, including: American Robin, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Bluebird, European Starling, Gray Catbird, Bluejay, Northern Cardinal, American Crow, woodpeckers, sparrows, Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey

Product Questions

Everything I’m reading says black Cherry trees can be toxic? I’m very interested in your jumpstart pack but I’m a dog trainer and we have cattle and I’m worried about poisoning an animal.Can you substitute something else?
Question by: Jake Coon on Mar 6, 2022, 11:25 PM
Hello, thank you for your interest in Chief River Nursery. We do not do any substitutions in the variety packages. Thank you.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Mar 7, 2022, 9:55 AM
When establishing food plots, do you recommend tubbing these trees with full 6' tubes?
Question by: Derek Deshler on Sep 22, 2022, 9:40 AM
When protecting a seedling from deer, we suggest the 6.0 ft Plantra SunFlex Grow Tube System. SunFlex Grow Tubes are intended to protect trees indefinitely. The tube is a 4" diameter. Because the tube is perforated, when the trunk of the tree reaches the 4" diameter, it will simply break through the perforations. There is no need to remove the tube.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Sep 22, 2022, 9:50 AM
When establishing food plots, do you recommend tubbing these trees with full 6' tubes?
Question by: Derek Deshler on Sep 22, 2022, 9:40 AM
Most deer find new seedlings and plantings very tasty. In order to establish the trees/shrubs I would recommend protecting them somehow to get established. Our grow tubes certainly will work for the Black Cherry seedlings.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Sep 29, 2022, 4:31 PM