CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Black cherry trees may be common in most parts of West Virginia, but the benefits they provide are anything but ordinary.
Black cherry wood is one of the most valued of all hardwoods and is prized for its luster and color. Furniture, paneling, tool handles and toys are just a few of the products that are made with wood from the black cherry tree.
These trees are great for drawing in wildlife that enjoys eating the purplish-black cherries as they ripen in late summer. Of course, animals are not the only ones who enjoy the fruit. Humans use black cherries to make jellies, preserves and wine, as well as eat them right from the tree.
Leaves of the black cherry tree turn yellow or red fairly early in the fall foliage season. When the leaves and the bark of the tree are crushed, they produce a cherry fragrance. Be careful, though; crushed leaves and bark are bitter to taste and can be poisonous to livestock.
The largest black cherry tree currently on record in West Virginia stands near Franklin in Pendleton County. It measures 82.5 feet tall and has a crown spread of more than 74 feet.
Bare root black cherry tree seedlings are available for purchase from Clements State Tree Nursery in West Columbia, W.Va. Clements, the only state-operated forest tree nursery in West Virginia, sells bundles of 25 seedlings for just $25 per bundle. Buy extra bundles to share with your neighbors, family and friends.
For a complete catalog of seedlings for sale at Clements State Tree Nursery, visit www.wvcommerce.org/resources/forestry/treenursery.aspx
or call the nursery at 304-675-1820.
For more information about the Division of Forestry, visit www.wvforestry.com
Leslie Fitzwater, Public Information Specialist
304-957-9342 or 304-541-8102