Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Identify Cherry Tree Seedlings

Identifying a tree seedling growing on your property can be a challenging task. The good news is a cherry tree seedling tends to be easier to identify than other seedlings because of its distinctive stem and leaf structure. Identifying the exact type of cherry seedling will have to wait until the seedling matures and starts to flower.

Determine if the seedling is in an area where mature cherry trees grow. Seeds are often transported by birds and animals. If there are cherry trees growing within a mile or so of the seedling, it could be a cherry tree seedling.

Examine the stem of the seedling. Cherry tree seedlings will be grayish-brown and stiff and woody. It will not be flexible or green.

Check the seedling to see if it has more than one stem. Cherry tree seedlings will generally have one primary stem, and the leaves will grow directly from this stem. There will be no other stems or branches.

Examine the shape of the seedlingâ??s leaves. Cherry tree seedlings will have long, slightly oval leaves that come to a pointed tip. The leaves will be 1 to 3 inches in length.

Determine the color and texture of the leaves. The leaves on a cherry tree seedling will be a medium shade of green. The leaves will have visible veins that are raised. They will also have what look like teeth along the leaf edges. The only exception is the black cherry seedling, which will have less-visible veins and smooth edges.

Take a picture of the seedling or pluck a leaf from the seedling if you are still unsure of the seedling type. Take the picture to a local tree nursery or compare it to cherry tree photos to get a positive identification.

Identify Cherry Trees

Look closely at the flowers. A style is the long tube topped by the stigma that connects to the flower's ovary, the part that becomes the fruit. Each cherry tree blossom has only one style. Flowering crab-trees can look uncannily like cherry trees, but each flower has four to five styles. If the fruit measures 3/4 of an inch or less, it is a cherry; cherry plums and regular plums are 1 inch or bigger. The cherry tree's toothed leaves are lance-shaped or oval and pointed at the tip. They are arranged alternately on branches. As the tree is deciduous, its leaves fall in autumn.

Garden Guides