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Identifying Possible Choke Cherry

 
pollinator
Posts: 161
Location: Zone 7a, 42", Fairfax VA Piedmont (clay, acidic, shady)
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I'm hoping that these pictures (attached) are a choke cherry, or something similar, that I can graft to.  Just realized these plants are coming up all over my back yard.  Some are large (inadvertently) coppiced bushes 10 ft tall, but most are a foot tall or less.  Any help identifying them would be very helpful.  I think they are some kind of cherry?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_virginiana

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pollinator
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Prunus looks right

Seritana or americana also options.

They beat it comes up in clumps makes me think americana. Plum!
 
Josh Garbo
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Thanks!  Yeah it is clumping a lot.  I guess I can graft plum cultivars to it?  I'm pretty excited - I may have over 50 of these coming up all over a half acre or so!
 
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Usually you can slice a little bark down to the sap wood and smell cherry. Its strong.
 
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If there's any "poop on a stick" fungus growing on it, that's a sure sign it's a cherry of some sort.

 
J Davis
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Josh Garbo wrote:Thanks!  Yeah it is clumping a lot.  I guess I can graft plum cultivars to it?  I'm pretty excited - I may have over 50 of these coming up all over a half acre or so!



No need. Americana is good eats. But you could graft something bigger I suppose.

There are smart phone apps that let you upload a pic to positively identify. But flowering or fruiting would likely give you enough info to narrow it down.

Black cherry has a very rich dark smell, crumbling a sniffing a leaf could be a strong tell.
 
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Yes, those look exactly like some I've seem growing in Aspen. The wife loves their fragrance!
 
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The leaf is the right shape and has the right edges on the plus side.  On the minus side choke cherries in this area on small branches have a reddish brown bark and not the grayish silver showing in your pictures.  I am going to say cherry but not choke cherry based on that.  Seeing the blossum, the ripening fruit and the fully ripe fruit would help.
 
Josh Garbo
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Thanks, everyone.  No fruits or blossoms yet to observe, but will send those when available.
 
Daniel Richardson
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Found some pics
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It looks a heckuva lot like choke cherry to me. It grows wild out here, bird planted, to the point of being a nuisance sometimes. But we're 2000 miles apart. Would a local version have a local accent perhaps?
 
Josh Garbo
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Hoping to see blossoms soon; I think if they appear on a long stem (or raceme) it's choke cherry.  It seems very tolerant of poor light conditions and clay soil; two big factors on my property.  Hoping that plums or sour cherries will graft on to it ok (probably don't want any tree that grows too big).

https://bouldertreecare.com/chokecherry-prunus-virginiana/

https://www.prairienursery.com/store/native-plants/for-clay-soils/chokecherry-prunus-virginiana
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