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Western Chokecherry vs Black Cherry

Prunus virginiana var. demissa

Prunus serotina

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Western Chokecherry
Black Cherry

Western Chokecherry is a shrub or small tree commonly used for farmstead and field windbreaks.

It produces white flowers in the spring and edible dark purple fruit that matures between September and October. Its cherries are great for making for making jams, jellies or wine, but are not very palatable for raw eating.

Black Cherry is common in eastern North America but a rare find elsewhere. This tree is shade tolerant and is often found in old fields, forest openings, and along fencerows.

The fruit is edible and is commonly used to flavor rum and brandy. It is also edible and often eaten fresh or used in wine or jelly. Black Cherry trees typically begin producing fruit when they are 10 years of age.

Black Cherry wood is a rich reddish-brown color and is strong, making it valued in cabinetry and woodworking. It is often used in reclamation as well.

The leaves can poison livestock as they contain cyanide derivatives and precursors. However, many have noted that deer still seem to browse their trees with impunity and birds and other animals eat the fruit when available.

WESTERN CHOKECHERRY QUICK FACTS

BLACK CHERRY QUICK FACTS

Zone: 2a
Zone: 2a
Height: 7 m (23 ft)
Height: 24 m (80 ft)
Spread: 5 m (16 ft)
Spread: 14 m (45 ft)
Moisture: dry, normal
Moisture: normal, wet
Light: full sun
Light: partial shade, full sun
Fall colour: reddish-purple
Fall colour: yellow to orange
Berries: edible, astringent, red-purple
Flowers: white
Growth rate: fast
Growth rate: medium
Life span: short
Life span: medium
Suckering: low
Suckering: low



Toxicity: toxic to horses, cattle, etc.)

Toxicity: bark and wilted leaves toxic to livestock

Other Names: bitter-berry, chokecherry, common chokecherry, virginia bird berry
Other Names: mountain black cherry, wild cherry, wild rum cherry