The black cherry tree is usually found in forest situations and is a fruit producing tree. The name makes it sound like you could harvest this tree and make a cherry pie but that is not the case. The berries like on the left hand side are small and are often food for birds, insects and other animals. The black cherry grow in the region that spreads to the edge of the Minneapolis metro area. It is best known and most easily recognized by its very rough trunk. The pictures on the left hand side will give you a good idea of how to recognize you have a black cherry tree. There are two main diseases that effect the black cherry. One of the diseases effects many trees so it is good to look at the picture to the right here and make sure none of your trees have a similar growth on the branches. The fungus disease shown is called black knot. It effects most berry producing trees and shrubs. As you can see the fungus wraps itself around the trunk and lives off the branches resources sucking it dry and killing branches one by one. The best resolution to this disease is cutting off all black knots, disinfecting them and contacting a professional like Arbor Doctor to inject the tree with a fungicide that will keep black knots from forming in the future. The next thing you have to look for in black cherry trees in our region is called the shothole borer. It is pictured on the right hand side and it can cause major damage to a tree. It lays its eggs in the tree as it bores into the tree before fall. The eggs hatch into larve and start eating the living layers of the tree until it is no longer able to transfer water and nutrients that it absorbes from the soil. Like all borers it emerges in the summer time and it leaves a tell tail sign that it has been there. In this case you see the picture with the small rounded holes in it. It is always important to inspect any small downed branches in your yard. Insects usually start with branches that are around 1" in diameter. Early detection of an insect will help save your trees.
What to look for
1. Black knots forming on branches
2. Downed branches approximately 1" in diameter
3. Holes in branches or on trunk
4. Dieback of the crown or loss of branches
5. Tree holding on to brown leaves in summer
Common Name: Black cherry
Scientific name: Padas serotina
Leaves: Spear shaped leaves, 3-5" long, 2-3" broad. Shiny front cuticle
Bark: Broken, dark grey to black
Height: 100" max
General info: Medium sized tree often found in woods or residentially as ornamental. These trees have black berries that are often eatne by birds. Not an edible food source for humans.
Pests and diseases: Black knot is a major issue in cherry trees. This disease can be found below. General practice is to cut out the knots and disinfect between cuts.
This disease is common in cherry trees. Cutting out the knots is that only way to take care of this disease. Once it is spotted it is often too late for the tree. The black formations are calusing and restrict nutrient flow through the branches that this disease affects.
There is no known treatment for this disease. Make sure to disinfect your tools before cutting other branches. The disease spreads easily by cutting methods.