The True Value of the Black Cherry Tree
Prunus serotina, black cherry, is our most important and largest native cherry tree in North America. It has a huge range, from the middle of Canada to Florida, over to Texas and Arizona and even with a subspecies that extends into Mexico and parts of Central America. Its importance in the forestry/timber industry is based on the beauty of its wood, which has that deep red color so beloved by furniture makers and for those fortunate enough to use it for paneling or flooring. In the south, a fungal disease ruins its timber value, but to support wildlife, this tree should be tops on your list. Not only do the flowers attract a huge variety of pollinators -- both native and the imported European honey bee -- but birds, Lepidopteran larva, and numerous mammals consume the fruits and/or leaves.