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Meet Wild Cherry

This tree is a beautiful flowering tree found in the Midwest. Growing along forest edges where this is a lot of sun, these trees can live for 100 years once established. They do prefer full sun and dry sites, unable to tolerate wetter environments. They are especially cold-hardy. They do create cherries but they are exceptionally sour and require a lot of sugar to be palatable to people. They are very palatable to wildlife however feeding squirrels, chipmunks, mice, birds, deer, raccoons, opossums and pretty much any wild critter in the area.

These trees are not especially valued for their fruit but they are prized for their wood. While not a fast-growing tree, their wood is prized for furniture and fine carpentry projects. With a reddish tone and dense grain, wild cherry lumber makes beautiful wood projects. When the tree is young, the bark is thin and greyish and fairly non-descript. As the tree grows, it developed scaly bark which is very beautiful amongst it's woodland counterparts of pine and oak.

The true joy in this tree however is it's fall color. The leaves turn a brilliant yellow/orange/pink color early in the fall and can often be seen clinging to their branches in late October. Look along forest edgest in dry sites this fall and see if you can spot this lovely native tree.

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