The Black Cherry Tree & Its Dark Secret

The black cherry tree is a species with lovely flower clusters, each separate flower attached by little stalks.

All real cherries are deciduous trees, shedding their leaves before wintertime. Rum cherry, wild black cherry, or mountain black cherry trees are woody plant species belonging to the Prunus. These cherry trees are native to eastern North America. The bark of young trees is smooth but gets scaly and fissured since the tree’s trunk expands with age. Get in touch with a tree contractor from Harrisburg Tree Service if you believe your tree might be diseased.

The Cherry’s Beautiful Fruit and Flowers

All parts of the flower, including the stalks, stems, flowers, and bracts, are very appealing. The fruits are berry-like, turning black-purple when ripe. The actual seed in the berry is a black, ovoid, single stone. The name black cherry comes from the black color of the ripe fruits.

Dark Side of a Black Cherry

The twigs, bark, seeds, and leaves of a black cherry make a chemical called cyanogenic glycoside. Hydrogen cyanide is discharged when the plant’s alive parts are consumed, toxic to both animals and humans. It has a horrible taste. That taste is one of the distinguishing factors of the tree.

The inner bark has highly concentrated amounts of the chemical but was used ethnobotanically in much of the Appalachian states as a sedative, cough remedy, and tonic. The glycoside seems to diminish spasms in the lining of the muscles of the bronchioles. Still, huge quantities of black cherries deliver the risk of producing cyanide poisoning.

Dormant Identification of Black Cherry

The tree has lenticels that are light, narrow, and corky. Lenticels in black cherry are several upright elevated pores in the stalk of a woody plant that lets gas exchange between the atmosphere and the internal tissues on the bark of a young tree.

The cherry bark snaps into slim dark pieces and lifts the edges on older wood. This is said to look like “burnt cornflakes.” You can safely nibble the twig that has the taste of bitter almonds. The cherry bark is dark-colored gray but is scaly and smooth with a brown-red colored inner bark.

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