Wild Cherry

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Wild Cherry

Scientific name: Prunus avium
The mass of white, frothy blossom on a Wild Cherry is a sight to behold. Planted as an ornamental tree, it also grows wild in woods and hedges. Its red fruits are the edible cherries we know and love.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 30m

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

The Wild Cherry is a small tree of woodland edges and hedgerows, and is also frequently planted. White flowers appear early in spring and ripen to red fruits in summer - the cherries! These are loved by birds and mammals (who distribute the seeds), and are also used by us for making cherry brandy. The timber of Wild Cherry is highly prized for furniture-making and wood-turning due to its rich, red-brown colour.

How to identify

The Wild Cherry displays a mass of white flowers, followed by its familiar fruit - red cherries. It has oval leaves and red, papery bark that peels in horizontal bands.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Many related species and hybrids of the Wild Cherry are planted in parks and gardens for their decorative pink and white flowers, and for their delicious fruit. Japan is famous for its huge number of cherry trees - the blossom is a national symbol and many make the trip to see it.

How people can help

Our native tree species provide important links in the food chain for many animals, as well as areas for shelter and nesting. The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species throughout the food chain, so look after many nature reserves for the benefit of wildlife. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from coppicing to craft-making, stockwatching to surveying.