Dear Harald de Groot,
this is your tree!
Information about your tree:
Species: Cherry Tree (Prunus avium),
Location: Ferme du Plessis, 28190 Pontgouin, France,
Purpose: Afforestation for an eco-village,
Date of plantation: January 2019,
Status: Planted and in good health.
Description of your tree:
Cherry (Prunus avium L.) is a fast-growing but short-lived (100-150 years), medium sized deciduous tree, which grows to 15-32 m height and with a stem diameter of up to 90-120 cm. The species mostly develops single, straight trunks with a thin, smooth purplish-grey bark that becomes grey-brown with horizontal fissuring and peeling when old. Young trees grow with a strong apical control developing a straight trunk and an erect-pyramidal “coniferous” crown shape, becoming broader and rounded on single old trees or conical in individuals in forest stands. Young shoots are shiny, pale grey to purplish-brown, and have large, reddish brown and protruding ovoid-ellipsoid, glabrous winterbuds at the branch ends arranged in whorl-like form. Stem wounds produce a resin-like, amber coloured odourless gum. The leaves change colour from light green in spring over dark green in summer, and to yellow, orange-red, scarlet or pink in autumn. They are alternate, pendulous, simple and elliptic-ovate to obovate acute in shape. The leaf margins are mildly serrated with slightly rounded teeth. There are conspicuous pairs of dark-red glands at the 2-3.5 cm long petiole below the lamina. Leaf size is approximately 5-15x3-8 cm. They are usually dull, glabrous-rugose above and sometimes weakly downy at the 8-15 pairs of secondary vein ribs beneath. Wild cherry flowers are allogamous, actinomorphic, about 2-2.5 cm in diameter, white, hermaphroditic, insect pollinated, and are arranged in racemose clusters of 2-5 flowers on short spurs (brachyblasts) with multiple apical (inserted at tips) buds; of which the distal (uppermost) bud is vegetative and continues growth, while the others bear new inflorescences. Flowers are pollinated mainly by honeybees, wild bees and bumblebees and the trees are generally not self-fertile. Individual trees have a relatively short life span of 100-120 years at maximum, and can start fruiting when 10-15 years old. In Central Europe, flowering starts earliest in late March and occurs until May, whileindividual trees are in flower for about one week. Fruits are purplish black drupes, sub-globose to ovoid, 1-2 cm in diameter with a smooth, fleshy, and bitter-sweet edible endocarp 1, 2, 5 . Ripe fruits occur from late spring until summer and are consumed and dispersed mostly by birds such as pigeons, starlings, thrushes and jays, but also by larger vertebrates like foxes, badgers or wild boar.
Wild cherry is a mesophytic, comparatively shallow-rooting, light demanding species, which can grow in quite different soil types. However, it favours deep fertile soils with a good water supply. The tree does not tolerate heavy clays, waterlogged or poorly drained sites and can be sensitive to drought. Main habitat type is semi-shade, open deciduous woodland or scrubland especially at edges, glades and clearings, where this tree essentially occurs as a rare and scattered pioneer species. The pioneer colonisation strategy is realized as a first generation establishment via seedling recruitment, potentially followed by sometimes extensive vegetative growth via root suckering. With its ability for coppice shooting and sucker formation as well as its rapid juvenile growth, wild cherry possesses competitive advantages in early succession stages. In natural forest stands the species is usually replaced by climax tree species during ongoing succession. In its European main distribution range it is a frequent element of several mixed deciduous forests type alliances of the class Querco-Fagetea, such as ravine forests (Tilio-Acerion), oak-Hornbeam forests (Carpinion betuli), lowland beech forests (Fagion), and riverine floodplainforests (Alno-Ulmion).
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