The Q&A Archives: Edible fruit tree

Question: My fiance's mother planted a tree 2 yrs ago in front of their house. I thought it was a Japanese Red Maple, but it's now bearing fruit. Their either cherries or small plums. I can't tell. Are they edible or poisonous? FYI: she died last fall so I can't ask her what she bought.The leaves are a dark plum color. Thank you for your help.

Answer: The tree is probably a purple leaf plum, sometimes called a cherry plum. The fruit is favored by birds but it is not considered edible for humans. Just for a positive identification, why not take a sample of the fruit and the leaves to your local cooperative extension office or well staffed nursery? They will be able to tell you for sure just what kind of tree it is.

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