The largest of the cherries, this fast-growing, medium to large deciduous tree is valued not only for its ornamental attributes but also as a timber tree. It is native from central and eastern North America to Guatemala.
The tapered, oval, saw-edged leaves are glossy dark green above and paler underneath. New leaves are often bronze-tinged, and fall color is typically bright yellow. In mid to late spring, upright to horizontal, cylindrical clusters of white five-petaled flowers adorn the branches, attracting bees and butterflies. The clusters droop under the weight of the spherical, pea-sized fruits that follow. The fruits - which contain a one-seeded "stone" - ripen from red to blue-black in late summer. The sweet, edible ripe fruits are quickly harvested by birds. Self-sowing is common. This cherry grows relatively rapidly into a narrow-headed, horizontally branched tree, with red-brown bark that eventually becomes fissured and scaly.
Often found on fertile, moist, well-drained soil in the wild, this sun-loving tree also succeeds in dry sites. It is relatively salt-tolerant. Use it as a large shade tree for meadows, lawns, parks, or other sites where its many seedlings are not bothersome or can be mowed down. Among the few named selections is 'White Sparkle,' with slightly drooping branches, abundant flowers, and good fall foliage color. (Info Source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Prunus
Species - Serotina
Common name - Black Cherry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 9
Height - 50'-90' / 15.2m - 27m
Spread - 25'-50' / 7.6m - 15m
Plant type - Large tree
Vegetation type - Decidious
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Edible, Feature Plant, Shade Trees
Germination rate - 81%
Bloom season - Spring, Late Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
|Germination||1. Soak the seeds in a bowl of cool water overnight. Lay the seeds on a flat surface to dry for several hours.|
2. Stratify seeds in a plastic bag full of moist sand inside the refrigerator for 90 days. Keep the sand barely moist during the cold stratification period.
3. Sow the seeds the following spring once outdoor temperatures rise above 65F (+18C) during the day and 48F (+8C) at night. Or sow indoors in the propagator or pots
4. Prepare a pot for each seed. Fill 8-inch plastic pots with garden soil taken from the bed where the trees will eventually be planted. Sow one seed in each pot at a depth of 1 inch.
5. Water the seeds to a depth of 3 inches after planting them. Maintain moisture at a 3-inch depth during the germination process.
6. Place the pots outdoors in a sheltered spot where they will be exposed to direct sun in the morning and afternoon. Protect the seeds from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day since the soil will warm too quickly and dry out.
7. Watch for sprouting one month after sowing. Maintain the same light and moisture conditions provided to the seeds during germination until they grow to 4 inches in height.
8. Plant the seedlings into a sunny, sandy bed at least 75 days before the first frost in autumn, or shelter the seedlings in a cold frame until the following spring if it is too late in the year for planting. (info source: eHow.com)