Wild cherry, or sweet cherry, is a native tree in the south of Sweden, growing as far north as Värmland and Uppland, with the largest stands in the coast regions and the mountains of Västergötland. The cultivated cherries are all variations or hybrids of wild cherry and have about the same distribution. The leaves are ovoid-acute with serrated margin, finely downy beneath and with a green or reddish petiole 2–3.5 cm long bearing two to five small red glands. The bark is smooth purplish-brown with prominent horizontal grey-brown lenticels on young trees, becoming thick dark blackish-brown and fissured on old trees.Wild cherry has thin twigs growing upwards and reaches a height of 20 meters. It blossoms with white flowers and the fruit ripens in August.
It prefers sun-lit positions with slightly moist soil rich in lime and nutrition. It has a substantial, but not very deep, root system. Trees get 100 years old and are often affected by a fungus causing witche´s brooms – where a dense mass of shoots grows from a single point, resulting in a structure resembling a broom or a bird's nest.
The wood has distinctive growth rings, light reddish brown heartwood and light yellow sapwood. It is hard and tough, often straight grown and then easy to split. It works well for furniture, small crafts and music instruments. Its strength makes it an excellent choice for flooring, handrails and kitchen cabinetry.
Did you know that:
- The berries are excellent for jam and are favored by birds and mammals.