Wild Cherry Cultivation?

Hi, what’s a cherry bounce?

Cherry bounce is a sweetened liquor made from wild black cherry, prunus serotina. We make it in south Louisiana, not sure if anyone else ever comes across cherry bounce other places?

I believe I have of one these prunus pensylvanica “pin cherry” close to my house.

Its fruits are ripening in zone 7a now at end of May. I picked the ones with color ranging from “Rainier” to bright red. Flesh is sour/sweet and juicy. Good taste, but a lot of work for not a lot of fruit. The pin cherry fruit is only around 1/8 the volume of a commercial cherry and considering the stone–although also tiny and no bigger than a small bead in children’s bracelets–takes up considerable volume of this already small cherry.

What strikes me is the pincherry seems to grow well in heavy clay soil and appears to be relatively disease free (as compared to the ornamental cherries trees that are also around). I think it may serve as a good rootstock for grafting for those that have heavy soils or disease pressure.

I could find one thread about grafting to pin cherries below

Might you have photos of the fruit this year? And can I request a cutting or 2. I would like to try some late grafting.

Here’s the picture of the tree, leaves and fruit. It’d be great if someone could confirm this is a pin cherry. The tree is multi-stemmed and appear to be growing in a cluster with other trees. There is sign of folilar disease, but the health of the tree doesn’t appear to be affected.


galls are always creapy to see. I think it is Eriophyes cerasicrumena is a species of gall mite in the family Eriophyidae . They produce galls on black cherry plants.

So its an insect gall not bacterial or fungal.

I have to wonder if its not a hybrid from Pin and Sweet cherries. Are all of the local Pin Cherries similar or are these standouts?

Sweet Cherry Hybrid’s Prunus × pugetensis, Puget Sound Cherry, - General Fruit Growing - Growing Fruit

40 years ago, I was working near Emporia Virginia in a small remote phone office. There was a black cherry tree about 25 feet tall behind the building that had 1/2 inch diameter fruit. It is the only time I have seen a black cherry with fruit that large. This was definitely black cherry.


Of the cherries along the road that are visible…

  1. Kwanzan cherries (pink flowers, but never seen any fruit)
  2. This “pin cherry” with cluster of trees (white flowers, yellow-orange-red fruit)
  3. Another cherry tree with similarly colored, but much larger (2-3x volume) fruits–though still small compared to commercial (unknown flower color)

One neighbor said they had some cherries trees on their property but I have no idea what they are. There are definitely some cherry trees around here, so it could be some sort of hybrid.

Looks like my pin cherry. On good years, the fruit is not much smaller than montmorency cherries. I wait until they are a little darker than the one you are holding.

Good to know. The tree I described seems to have fruit way smaller than you have. The size of fruit I see are roughly the size of Hungry-hungry hippo marbles.

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Darrel -

Any chance you remember the office address? Would be interesting to go look and see if the tree is still there… (I have always wondered why black cherry was not improved - seems to me to be a very improvable tree).



It was a remote office about 10 miles from Emporia Virginia. I could probably dig something out or my records, but the likelihood of the tree still being there is remote. (pun intended)

Tennessee wild black cherry are in bloom now. I have several around my back yard and fields.

What the fruit looks like.

Good flavor… more tart less sweet. Eat when they turn black.


Interesting, our serotina in eastern KS has fruit the size of a large field pea and delicious; not too sweet, flavorful with a touch of astringency. These are trees in full sun all day with no competition. An alcoholic infusion (ratifa?) was made from them years ago.

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@sockworth … the cherry fruit you showed looked much like a real cherry.

Out wild black cherry… i more round a bit flattened but not really cherry shaped. Ours flower and the fruit hangs in clusters.

Below is what bark looks like on a TN wild black cherry.

It is somewhat similar to yours.


Yes, I believe the one I showed is described below. It has fruit on long stems originating from a single node, just like cultivated cherries. The cherry you showed doesn’t have these qualities.

Yours looks more like this one.

@sockworth — I think you are right about that.

How do yours taste ?

My wild black… has good cherry flavor, but very little sweetness to them. I like them. It is nice that I can just go out in my back yard and graze on them when they are ripe. I don’t eat the pits…but the flesh and fruit skin is good.

I have never had a pie or tart cherry but I when I eat these wild blacks… I figure that is about what a tart/pie cherry taste like. I have some Montmorency grafted onto my Lapins now… so hopefully some day I get to taste a good real tart/pie cherry.

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From what I recall, “pin cherry” tasted tart and was squishy. I was was edible fresh. It tasted like a really really tiny cherry, so unfortunately it was mostly seed which made it hard to enjoy.

I saved some seed from last year, and if you like I can mail you a few (PM me). I toss’ed a bunch of random seeds last spring in random spots that i now forget exactly where. I do believe I found few seedlings that look very cherry like and could be pin cherries.I think this could be one such, but I’m uncertain.

The best black cherries I have collected and eaten were from a group of small trees located on the Bayside of Cape Henlopen in delaware, right near the lighthouse. I happened to be down there when the cherries were ripe, and they were plentiful and delicious if you like black cherries. I recall that the cherries were larger than what I usually see here in Southeastern pennsylvania, but this could have been due to the fact that those cherries were fairly well watered though growing in sand and the water they were beside was salty! I wonder if it might be worthwhile to collect seeds from those trees to grow here in my yard. Would they grow tall, or retain the smaller stature of their parents? How large and tasty would their fruit be? I might have to collect some seed this summer.

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