Prunus serotina ([Wild] Black Cherry)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic 

Black Cherry, the largest of our native cherry trees, grows in a variety of habitats through much of the Mid-Atlantic Region* and is noted for the beauty and profusion of its spring blooms. It is entomologist Doug Tallamy’s #2 choice among woody plants for its exceptional support of wildlife.

*In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is native to and common in DC, DE, MD, PA, and VA.

Print Version (Legal Size): Prunus serotina ([Wild] Black Cherry)
Tree In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is native to and common in DC, DE, MD, PA, and VA. Height: 50–80 feet Spread: 30–60 feet Bloom Color: White Characteristics Medium to large deciduous tree with dense oval crown, pendulous branches, and deep taproot Glossy, dark green, ovate to lanceolate, lightly serrated leaves turn yellow and orange in fall Drooping racemes of showy, fragrant, white flowers from April to May Drooping clusters of small red drupes ripen to dark purplish-black in late summer Smooth bark w/ lenticels matures to rough texture Spreads via seed dispersal by birds & mammals Attributes Tolerates drought, salt spray, and black walnut Susceptible to many diseases and pests (heavy Eastern Tent Caterpillar infestations can be serious) Deer frequently severely damage twigs & leaves Used for jams, flavoring, wood products (Except for the fruit (pulp and peel), all parts are highly toxic to humans and mammals when eaten. On properties with domesticated herbivores, pick up leaf litter and fallen fruit/pits and branches. Wilted leaves contain greater concentrations of toxins) Nectar, pollen, and fruit for insects, birds, and mammals; larval host for 450 Lepidoptera Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Average, well-drained Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Dry, Moist Can be allelopathic to garden plants Use as a flowering or shade tree Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–9 Excellent Replacement for Morus alba - White Mulberry Prunus avium & P. subhirtella - Bird & Higan Cherry Pyrus calleryana - Callery (‘Bradford’) Pear
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets.