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Old 02-17-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
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Default Wild Black Cherry, Prunus Serotina

Can anyone tell me about this one? I know that it is native, can grow up to 60 ft, has pretty flowers, and the birds will enjoy the cherries. Are the cherries also tasty for people? What is the closest you would recommend planting it next to a house? (One-and-a-half stories with a roof gutter.) Next to a walkway? Would the cherries make too much of a mess to put it overhanging a walkway?

Thanks.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:20 PM   #2
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That's a big beautiful tree you've chosen. I'd plant it about 20' away from the house. It can exceed 60' in height with at least a 30' spread. Next to a walkway is acceptable. It flowers a little later than most other species which is nice if you like to keep something blooming all year round. The fruits are edible and you can pick them in late summer. I'd eat them.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:43 PM   #3
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Thanks Equil! Hmmm. I'm thinking of lopping the lower branches off of my Norway maple (to let some light through, without sacrificing all of its shade just yet) and then starting a young tree close to it. When the young tree gets a bit bigger, I'll kill the Norway. Do you think either black cherry or red mulberry would do well in this situation?

Does black cherry self-pollinate?

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:55 PM   #4
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I'd choose both but if I had to pick only one I'd go with the Morus rubra. The Prunus serotina has perfect flowers and is self pollinating so you would get fruit but none of the seeds would be viable. Toss in a few Corylus americana (hazelnuts) for the blue jays and for you too.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:24 PM   #5
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The good news is that I have room for both! The other will get a location with more sun and moisture. And I might even be able to find a location for a third tree off to the side somewhere, so that cherry could have a love interest.

And that's just the big stuff! I have a lot of room to play with, and some quirky ideas. . .
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:15 AM   #6
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I want to hear about your quirky ideas. Ordinary is boring. Quirky is good.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:54 AM   #7
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Another nice thing about the black cherry is that it blooms quite young. I'm always amazed to see little black cherry trees no taller than 4 feet full of blossoms along the roadside.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:14 AM   #8
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Ooh, that's a great thing to know, NEW, thanks!

Can anyone tell me about the root depth of this tree? My front yard is six inches (maximum) of topsoil on top of beach sand. I'll dig out holes for my trees and fill them with better soil, but obviously I won't be digging a giant pit suitable for a 60-foot tree! Do you think whild cherry will be able to tolerate the growing conditions as it gets larger?

Thanks!

I'll write about my quirky ideas for you soon, Biig..
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:27 PM   #9
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We have a Norway maple in our front yard, and it has a remarkable ability to dehydrate the soil for about 30 feet in every direction. I will often get out the hose and set up a lawn sprinkler when I notice that the front yard is suffering from lack of water, and it typically takes me three days of watering to get the soil back to normal. The tree provides shade, and likely keeps the house a bit cooler in the summer. My wife does not want it removed, so it continues to live in our yard. I find it very hard to grow anything within 30 feet of the trunk.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:10 PM   #10
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Yup, thanks Eric. Ours is a small tree, still, which may help a little. I plan to do a lot of watering this season while all of the plants get established.
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