A large upright, long-lived tree, great for open, sunny locations that grows 18-24 m tall and 8-10 m wide. Fragrant white flowers bloom in May and attract many different native bees. Before bud break, extrafloral nectaries on the margins of the leaves provide nectar to ants and bees. All trees in the prunus family support an extremely high number of caterpillars. Caterpillars are the essential food source for nesting songbirds. 98% of them will serve as high protein food for baby birds. Decine in bird population is directly related to the decreasing number of native trees, especially trees that support high numbers of caterpillars, like oaks, willows and sherries. Birds love the bitter small cherries. Leaves turn yellow and rose in fall.
Photo: Rasbak, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons
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