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taylorhedrich
05-02-2006, 09:10 PM
Hello everyone,
I recently discovered a beautiful tree back in our Mid-Michigan woods. We are not sure what it is. It appears to multiply easily, as there are quite a few small babies scattered around the 2 adult trees that we have discovered. There is a smaller tree (about 15 or 20 feet high) next to a bigger tree (about 45-50 feet high). Around that general area anyway, as I'm not so good with estimating measurements like that.
We loved the looks of the tree so much that we brought about 4 babies up to the house and planted them in the yard. I would like to know as much info as I can about this species, or even if you can all agree on a name, that would help greatly as I could search for information on it on the internet.
Here are some enclosed pictures of the tree. I tried to get many different angles for a proper ID.

The main part of the younger tree in the woods:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a1/taylorhedrich/100_2228.jpg

Some close-up shots to show the smooth bark and the red leaf like flower petals:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a1/taylorhedrich/100_2222.jpg
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a1/taylorhedrich/100_2221.jpg
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a1/taylorhedrich/100_2231.jpg

Another close-up of what appears to be something that will flower out soon?:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a1/taylorhedrich/100_2223.jpg

Here is a full picture of the younger tree:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a1/taylorhedrich/100_2225.jpg

A close-up of the smooth bark on the largest tree of the two:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a1/taylorhedrich/100_2224.jpg

A picture of one of the offspring we dug up and planted in our back yard:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a1/taylorhedrich/100_2233.jpg

Thanks in advance for your help. Like I said, even a name or general name of the species could be a great help to me.
~Taylor~

Quirky Quercus
05-02-2006, 09:30 PM
I'm pretty sure that's a Black Cherry.
Around here they flower very early with white flowers. Not sure if that has yet to happen in your much more northern location. Looks like you got some cherries forming. :D

taylorhedrich
05-02-2006, 10:06 PM
I'm pretty sure that's a Black Cherry.
Around here they flower very early with white flowers. Not sure if that has yet to happen in your much more northern location. Looks like you got some cherries forming. :D
You know, my dad mentioned that he thought he remembered them getting white flowers on, but he couldn't remember for sure. The 2 trees are right on the edge of the woods by the field so he could have noticed the

Also, those are not cherries are they? They appear to be just thick flower pedals growing on the thin part of the branches by the leaves.

Thanks for the reply. I will do a search on cherry trees to see what I can find out. :D
~Taylor~

Aesculus
05-03-2006, 08:46 AM
I think you are correct Quercus, it must be Black Cherry (Prunus serotina). But, evidently Black Cherry growing in Michigan looks very different from the way it looks in Georgia! I've never seen the beautiful pink bracts (bud scales) displayed in the pictures above on trees here. I have seen that feature on Alabama Cherry (P. alabamensis), but it doesn't grow in Michigan. And our trees of the same age usually have started displaying the scaly bark of a more mature black cherry tree, not the smooth juvenile bark with horizontal lenticels. This bark looks more like a plum, or pin cherry. Oh, and the trees pictured above have not bloomed yet. You can see the flowering racemes in several of the pictures with un-opened flower buds.

Quirky Quercus
05-03-2006, 09:22 AM
Those were my thoughts exactly. It does look different from the black cherry around here.

Aesculus
05-03-2006, 10:02 AM
I forgot to mention that Black Cherry is usually not planted very much in our area, because it seems to be the favorite of web worms (tent caterpillars) which can seriously defoliate the trees, and are very unsightly. I don't know if the same pest is present in Michigan.

taylorhedrich
05-03-2006, 11:01 AM
Thanks guys. So you are all agreeing that it is basically some type of cherry?

I do not think it is a Black Cherry. All the pictures I've seen of them on the web have way different bark (it's really rough, even on trees much smaller than mine) and their leaves are different, plus they don't have the pink "bracts" as you've called them.

Do you know of some sort of tree expert on the web I could e-mail or another web forum with a lot of tree experts?

Thanks again.
~Taylor~

saccharum
05-03-2006, 11:12 AM
I agree that it looks like black cherry. I went to school at MSU, and that's a very common tree around there.

Those persistent bud scales have me a little baffled, though. Although I have noticed differences between the northern and southern populations of P. serotina, this isn't one of them. I can't remember seeing that feature in my years in Michigan. I think it's an early-spring fluke, and they'll fall off in short order. Pretty, though!

taylorhedrich
05-03-2006, 11:33 AM
I agree that it looks like black cherry. I went to school at MSU, and that's a very common tree around there.

Those persistent bud scales have me a little baffled, though. Although I have noticed differences between the northern and southern populations of P. serotina, this isn't one of them. I can't remember seeing that feature in my years in Michigan. I think it's an early-spring fluke, and they'll fall off in short order. Pretty, though!
Okay, thanks for the opinion. I will be sure to take pictures of the blossoms when they open and see if the trees ever produce any fruit.

It just seems like if it was a Black Cherry, my dad would have noticed the berries in his farming days. He LOVES black cherries. I will keep you all posted, but until I get some pictures of the blossoms and post them, I will go with a Black Cherry tree. :)
~Taylor~

saccharum
05-03-2006, 12:50 PM
Well, it's definitely SOME sort of Prunus (cherry and plum genus). The only cherries common to that area that have that sort of flower arrangement (called a raceme) are black cherry and chokecherry (P. virginiana). I think I can see the recurved serrations in the leaves there (typical of black cherry), and chokecherry isn't supposed to have the horizontal lenticels I see in the bark.

Things like the bark and leaf shape, you have to allow for some variation. It looks like the bark in the close-up is just starting to break up into the rough form that is typical in larger trees (it's dead-on for a young black cherry in the north), and the leaf shape looks pretty typical, especially in the top pic.


Do you know of some sort of tree expert on the web I could e-mail or another web forum with a lot of tree experts?

Ouch! O ye of little faith! :)

treeman
05-03-2006, 08:20 PM
Here is a black cherry in bloom:
http://www.oplin.org/tree/fact%20pages/cherry_black/flower.jpg
http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/JPEG'S/Plant%20Web%20Images/BlackCherryInFlower.jpg