Black Cherry - Prunus serotina
The large, fruit-laden trees you see here are no doubt at least partly responsible for the many birds that frequent this area. Birds and small mammals relish the bitter bluish-black fruit of the Black Cherry. Wild cherry syrup and jellies can be prepared from the fruit when it reaches maturity in late summer.
A Black Cherry tree can reach a height of 50-60 feet and a diameter of about 3 feet. Young trees have smooth, dark reddish-brown bark. On the mature trees the outer bark is rough with short horizontal lines. Beneath this bark, cracked openings reveal a red-brown underbark.
Many years ago this are fell victim to a fire. The burnt and charred area temporarily created hardship for the animals that live here. The food chain they relied upon was disrupted and shelters were destroyed. Over time the nutrients that were generated from the fire caused new vegetation to grow, generated rebirth of this forested area, and sparked the beginning of a new life cycle for both plants and animals.