Asking from northeast New Jersey. Sorry I couldn't get a better picture of it - I'm hoping this is enough to identify it. These pictures were taken from below the tree branches. The tree is in the front yard, is a little taller than the one-story house it's in front of and I think is wider than it is tall (hard to tell because a portion of it is getting crowded out by a large pine tree). It currently has small round berries growing on it that are various shades of green and yellow at the moment.

tree in color

tree silhouette

EDIT: Here are pictures of the bark and trunk as well as the top of the tree. When I went out to take these new pictures, I realized this isn't the tree I thought I was talking about - this particular tree is growing next to the side of the house, and there appears to be an identical one growing right next to it. It has some ivy and virginia creeper climbing on it as you will see.


there are two of them

enter image description here

  • Looks rather chokecherryish: google.com/… Aug 11, 2014 at 13:32
  • I'd posit that it looks a lot like a Hackberry (possibly a Sugar Hackberry?) to me. Are the leaves smooth or are they a bit scaly? I don't recall seeing them with quite that colour of red in the bark, but I've seen quite a variety of bark structures, including the scale-like bark in your pictures. google.com/… Aug 11, 2014 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


It's a wild black cherry, Prunus serotina. I recognized it at once from the bark, and then the cherries and leaves. I have more of these on my property than all the other tree species combined.

It is not a good tree for near houses, as it drops tons of small staining fruit (poisonous in large quantities), and also quite a few sticks. I also find that the roots aren't very supportive, and large ones tend to blow over in hurricanes and such.

The wood is quite tough, although it rots fast. It is good for furniture, because it is durable and well colored. The young bark and roots have a distinctive smell when cut.

Some more pictures:

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  • If it's like the black cherry trees we had in our last back yard, they also sucker. Everywhere.
    – TeresaMcgH
    Aug 12, 2014 at 15:18
  • @TeresaMcgH Yes, especially when the area is opened up.
    – J. Musser
    Aug 12, 2014 at 15:20
  • Another interesting fact is that the leaves, especially when wilted as from fallen branches, produce a cyanide at levels that can be fatal to horses other livestock (hpj.com/archives/2011/may11/may9/…)
    – That Idiot
    Nov 17, 2014 at 20:13
  • @ThatIdiot Yeah, my neighbor's cows kept eating the bark and dying, 'til he moved his fence back.
    – J. Musser
    Nov 17, 2014 at 20:16

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