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Prunus serotina

Prunus serotina - black, rum, or American bird cherry


The black cherry, native to North America, has a conical habit with shiny dark green, narrow oval leaves. In warm autumns it turns various shades of yellow and red. The species flowers after the appearance of the foliage, a week or two after the Finnish native bird cherry, P. padus. The fruit of the black cherry is larger than the bird cherry, at first red but ripening to almost black.

The best individuals have a very regular habit and eventually grow into large tree, larger than the native bird cherry. Gradually the branches start to droop, and branches and trunk take on an attractive rough texture. The wood itself is both beautiful and valuable, known as cherry wood.

In its native area, it is almost impossible to find in nurseries, perhaps because it is too ordinary there. So far it has been little grown in Finland, but Mustila has specimens growing on Etelärinne (Southern Slope), among them one that is probably the biggest and oldest in Finland. In America the species spreads easily through seed, and escapees have also been noted south of the Baltic, but not at Mustila or elsewhere in Finland.


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