Wild Cherry, Prunus avium

Identification Features

  • Bark: reddish-brown in younger trees becoming silvery purplish grey as the tree matures. Clearly visible, large horizontal lenticels, becoming rough. Bark can sometimes peel off in strips, similar to birch. Can also become more fissured and gnarly.
  • Twigs: Young shoots waxy, hairless, becoming reddish-brown. Buds along length and cluster of terminal buds. 
  • Buds: Orangey-brown, egg-shaped, bluntly pointed, obvious scales, around 5mm.

Description/General Character:
A large tree (up to 25m) with a solid trunk. The spreading crown is often high. Branches take an upward direction but droop at the thinner ends.

A widespread native of Europe, except the far north. South to north Africa. West through Russia, southwestern Asia as far as western Siberia.

Mixed woods (especially with Oak) and copses but frequently planted.

Other Observations:
Thought to be the original stock for many of the cultivated sweet cherries.

Author: Paul

Paul has had an interest in the outdoors since he was a young kid. Walking, tracking and exploring the wilderness around him, from disused overgrown railway lines to the vast wilderness of the UK national parks. Over the last few years Paul has honed his skills into specific areas of bushcraft and survival. He is an expert in map reading, shelter building and knots, traps and fishing.


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