Prunus serotina

Black Cherry




  • native to Canada down through the eastern part of the United States
  • hardy to zone 3

Habit and Form

  • a deciduous tree
  • oval crown, dense
  • pendulous branches
  • 60' to 90' tall
  • 35' to 50' wide
  • medium texture
  • rapid growth rate
Summer Foliage
  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • simple, deciduous leaves
  • serrulate margins
  • ovate leaf shape
  • 2" to 5" long
  • dark green leaf color

Autumn Foliage

  • yellow to ornage fall color


  • white flowers
  • 0.33" acorss
  • fragrant
  • blooms in May
  • borne in pendulous racemes, 4" to 6" long
  • showy


  • rounded, purplish-red drupe
  • 0.33" in diameter
  • edible
  • mature in August


  • brown, slender stems
  • gray-brown bark color
  • scaly trunk


  • prefers deep, moist, fertile soil
  • full sun to part shade
  • salt tolernat
  • drought tolerant

Landscape Use

  • along highways
  • for weeping effect


  • fall webworm
  • foliage is poisonous
  • tent caterpillars

ID Features

  • deciduous tree
  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • serrulate leaf margins
  • ovate leaf shape
  • white flowers
  • round, purplish-red fleshy fruit


  • by cuttings
  • by seed


'White Sparkle' - One of the few selected forms available of this native tree, this cultivar is a dense grower with a slight weeping habit. It flowers heavily and displays very good fall color.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.