fire cherry
Prunus pensylvanica

Fire cherry is a small tree common to a variety of sites in the northern U.S. and Canada. Fire cherry is most valued for its ability to quickly reforest areas ravaged by fire. The fruits are eaten by many birds and animals.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Fire cherry is used for fiber and fuelwood.


Wildlife Value
      Fire cherry fruits, although bitter, are eaten by many birds and mammals. Buds are eaten by grouse. Foliage and twigs are browsed by deer. Beavers cut down trees of all size.
          Attracts: American robins, bluebirds, grouse, many other birds, black bears, raccoons, deer

Regeneration methods
      Fire cherry is very intolerant of shade and requires clearcutting for maximum regeneration.

Fun facts
Fire cherry is an ecologically important tree in that it rapidly invades disturbed areas, particularly in the Northeastern U.S. It quickly stabilizes soils and helps retain crucial organic matter and nutrient constituents. It is very shade intolerant and quickly dies if overtopped. The common name fire cherry refers to the species ability to rapidly colonize burned areas; pin cherry refers to the small fruit size.
Prunus: Latin name for plum trees from Greek "prunos" (plum or cherry) / pensylvanica: of Pennsylvania
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

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