Plant ID forum: Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 13, 2011 12:02 PM CST
Growing in zone 8/9 north central Florida in November. This keeps teasing at my mind but I keep drawing a blank on what it is or may be related to. The photo of the trunks shows what appear to be trunks of 2 different trees but I checked closely & they are all from the same tree. Some older & some young. The central trunk on this has split & is rotting hence the dead tip you see on the photo of the "overall" tree. I have no idea what fruit it may or may not have; saw no evidence of fruit or seeds or spent flowers. Tree is about 15' tall.



Thumb of 2011-11-13/flaflwrgrl/f5ab58
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Nov 13, 2011 12:47 PM CST
looks like something here as well. I checked Carolina Cherry Laurel, but the leaf growth doesn't look right...plus mine has fruit/berries on it right now.
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 13, 2011 12:48 PM CST
Ginger! You read my mind! That's the first thing I checked was the cherry laurel but it just doesn't fit does it? It's still plaguing me. Keeps spinning around & around in my head.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Plumerias Hummingbirder Dog Lover
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gingin
Nov 13, 2011 12:52 PM CST
Smiling great minds Hilarious! I'm sure we have alot of the same stuff
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 13, 2011 2:06 PM CST
Hilarious! Yes, I'm sure we do.
BTW, yesterday I found another of the persimmon trees but this one is very big. Still no sign of fruit ever having been on it. It's tucked in between 2 great old oaks so was difficult to see until it began to turn colors.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Nov 14, 2011 4:27 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I don't know what it is, but I know it's not a carolina cherry laurel. The bark and leaf size are wrong. Plus, cherry laurels don't turn color in the fall.

Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 14, 2011 5:38 PM CST
Yep. Thanks Dave. That's the first thing that came to mind but when I checked it out it just didn't fit.
I find the barks to be so interesting being so very different on the same plant.
I'll keep watching it & see if I can get more clues in the spring. I know one thing --- the horses sure like to eat it! They were eating any portion they could reach. Hilarious! But then I've seen horses eat a whole lot of things. Blinking
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Nov 14, 2011 8:00 PM CST
Wild Black Cherry - Prunus serotina. I think!

http://www.planfor.co.uk/buy,cherry-black,1780,67,list,EN,67

http://www.europe-aliens.org/pdf/Prunus_serotina.pdf

http://www.duke.edu/~cwcook/trees/prse.html

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/60225/





Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Nov 14, 2011 8:06 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

The bark is a perfect match with Janet's duke.edu link. Thumbs up
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
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hawkarica
Nov 14, 2011 8:24 PM CST
I agree, it's a native black cherry.

Jim
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 14, 2011 8:55 PM CST
Janet you are absolutely AMAZING!!!!!! And I am so happy that Dave & Jim agree because when I don't know a plant I sure as heck like to have 2 to 3 solid agreements as to what it is besides myself before I go putting it in the database.
That bark is a sure tell tale sign. It seems everything fits for it.
We are going to the property this week & I want to crush the leaves & smell them as well as scratch a twig for the almond scent just to make sure of this before I call it a done deal since I have not seen it flower or fruit. I know you guys understand. I fully expect it to be confirmed.

From Wiki:
A mature black cherry can easily be identified in a forest by its very broken, dark grey to black bark, which has the appearance of very thick, burnt potato chips. However, for about the first decade or so of its life, the bark resembles that of a birch, and is thin and striped. It can also quickly be identified by its long, shiny leaves resembling that of a sourwood, and by an almond-like odor when a young twig is scratched and held close to the nose.

And this from: http://www.floridata.com/ref/p/prun_ser.cfm I actually read this entire article in 2002 in some magazine & have remembered it ever since. Funny that this comes up now. And that I mentioned the horses eating it. I will have to warn the horse owner of this.

The cyanide compounds in the twigs and older, wilted leaves are toxic (and possibly lethal) to horses and cattle.

In the spring of 2001 hundreds of thoroughbred horse foals where mysteriously miscarried or stillborn. The problem was traced to Eastern Tent Caterpillars that had fed on the many black cherry trees in the Lexington, Kentucky horse farm region. The caterpillars concentrated the toxic cyanide compounds present in black cherry foliage. Their feces contaminated the famous bluegrass pastures and was ingested by the grazing mares.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Nov 15, 2011 12:18 AM CST
The black cherry trees around here virtually stopped growing in recent years because of drought. Those that even survived, that is.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Nov 15, 2011 6:46 AM CST
From what I read about the Black Cherry it sounds to be a valuable one for nature, apart from horses when caterpillars feed on them! Nature must have decided grazing animals might be a threat to the tree so gave it a defence in the form of caterpillars, there's usually a correlation between cause and effect.

Waiting for confirmation of the almond scent, I checked through the Prunus species in Florida and there isn't that many. It's definitely Prunus, and the young bark first reminded me of Birch too!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 15, 2011 8:15 AM CST
I'm sure you're right Janet. Everything checks out perfectly except one thing ~~~~ everything I saw said it likes moist ground & this is up on high ground where it's dry (I think). I say I think because we recently bought the property & are not that familiar with the ground there or in this zone as we previously lived 2 zones south in the flat coastal part of Fl.
I have not yet dug into the ground there or put post hole diggers down so it may not be as dry as I assume.
Honestly I'm so sure you nailed it that I'm inclined to put it in the database now. I could always request it be removed on that .0001% chance it turns out not to be the black cherry.
What do you think Janet? Dave? Jim?

And finally; that bit about the moist ground --- we've all seen many plants that grow quite well in soil conditions other than what is listed for it.


Yes, cause & effect is fascinating isn't it Janet? Nature is so much smarter than we are. We humans failed to take that into account & have screwed up the balance.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
Nov 15, 2011 9:04 AM CST
I checked out all the Prunus species I could Ann, nothing came close to this and the two types of bark seem to be fairly specific to this tree. The leaf shape, texture and long leaf stalks all fit very well too. Habit is spot on.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 15, 2011 9:15 AM CST
Okay. I agree.
Janet you are sooooooo good at this! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up

Sometime today or this evening as soon as I get the chance I will put it in the database.

Thanks for ID-ing this.

At least I now know why this kept swimming around in my brain ~~~~ it was from that magazine article & that's why cherry stuck in my head even though I put laurel behind it ~~~ the cherry part stuck. The article was quite detailed & long not to mention fascinating as well as heartbreaking. Remember, the horse breeders were starting from square one to identify why so many mares were miscarrying or having still born. It was like finding a needle in a haystack to get to the root of the problem. Actually it's rather amazing they managed to go through all the paces & finally narrow it down to the source.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
Nov 15, 2011 11:25 AM CST
I can imagine how heartbreaking and baffling it would have been to horse breeders Ann!

I really do think it's correct, if there's doubt I usually have a niggle in my mind. That is always open to an occasional mis-identification but if you should find the flowers and fruits are totally wrong then you can remove it.

Three of us, plus yourself, feel it's correct. Smiling
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 15, 2011 11:46 AM CST
Thumbs up All systems go!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Nov 18, 2011 3:23 PM CST
Just a note: I checked out the leaves & crushed them & they smelled cherry coke-ish & the twigs when scratched smelled like almond. Just as they should. Thumbs up
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
Nov 18, 2011 3:27 PM CST
Hurray! Thumbs up Big Grin

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