Beautiful tree of the Rosaceae family, the Cherry is the only tree in its family to spread naturally in forests
Prunus avium is also called bird cherry , because its red fruits, which turn black when ripe - the cherries - are the feast of the birds, which disperse the seeds. It is native to Europe, West Asia and North Africa. Yet sometimes it is called cherry wood or wild cherry .
It was already present in Europe during the Neolithic period, as evidenced by archaeological discoveries. The flesh of the fruit is sweet but can be bitter. However, wild cherries were harvested in the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Central Europe. From the 4th century BC, the cherry tree was cultivated for its fruit. These are still used today in the manufacture of kirsch. In addition, its flowers are honey-bearing.
EcoTree plants cherry trees because their role is important for the biodiversity of European forest ecosystems: its fruits nourish many birds and their flowers offer pollen and nectar to bees in April and May. Because of its great biological potential, the cherry tree enhances the establishment or maintenance of other species. Finally, it contributes to the enrichment of the soil .
This fast-growing tree is medium-sized (10 to 25 metres) and can live for about 100 years. The trunk is straight and cylindrical. The bark is reddish-brown and smooth, with horizontal stripes. The leaves are elliptical, alternate, toothed, and have two reddish glands on the petiole at the base of the blade, which are characteristic of the species.
The white, pedunculated flowers are arranged in small lateral clusters. It blooms in March-April, before the foliage sets. The pyramid-shaped canopy is then adorned with regular white flowers that give rise to the fruit, after cross-fertilisation by pollinating insects. Merises (or guignes) are small red globular drupes that turn black as they ripen. They are edible and are used to make kirsch.
The cherry tree will do best when planted in deep, well-structured soil with a basic to slightly acidic pH and good water retention. The cherry tree needs more than 700 mm of water well distributed throughout the year. It is resistant to extreme cold (down to -30°C), which explains why it is found in low mountains and in lowland forests. However, it does not like sudden temperature changes or sunburn. Cherry is not a pioneer species. Scattered or in clumps, it combines well with oak, ash, hornbeam or hazel.
It is planted in autumn or winter, before the end of February, when the buds begin to open.
Cherry wood has long been popular because of its fine, beautifully coloured grain, ranging from pinkish yellow to pinkish brown. It was a favourite among cabinetmakers. In the last century, cherrywood furniture was very popular, but it has gradually fallen out of fashion.
However, cherry wood retains the qualities that have long been appreciated. It is easy to work, polishes well and bends well. In the past, it was used to make stair railings, pipe stoves, barrel hoops, ladder posts and staves for white spirit.
This species has also been the subject of selection work to obtain the Guigniers and Bigarreautier that gardeners cultivate.
In Japan, the Sakura flower (cherry tree) is a symbol of purity and abundance. At wedding ceremonies, tea is replaced by an infusion of cherry blossoms. So, wish the newlyweds eternal love by offering them a cherry tree, a symbol of abundance and of the purity of their feelings.
The tree will carry with it the memory of a wonderful day, its promises and the unity it celebrates. As an original wedding gift, it is the material proof of commitment and expresses fertility: the roots of love sink into the ground while the leaves give birth to pretty fruits.
Are you looking for an original gift that is ecological and sustainable? Give a cherry tree to celebrate love !
Give a tree, a gift that makes sense!