Cherry tree identification key: accessible version

An accessible key for identifying UK cherry trees

At each step, select the statement that matches the tree you want to identify. When you reach an identification, you can choose to see more detail about that particular tree.

Step 1: note how the flowers or fruits are arranged

Go to step 2 View Image - Flowers or fruits arranged in roughly cylinder-shaped spikes, 11 or more per spike

Go to step 3 View Image - Flowers or fruits on their own or in clusters of 10 or fewer

Step 2: check the leaves and measure the flowers

Bird cherries View Tree Details - Leaves hairless or with white hairs along midrib, sometimes only where veins join; flowers 10-15mm across

Rum cherry View Tree Details - Leaves have rusty or orange hairs underneath, each side of the midrib; flowers 8mm across

Step 3: look at the stalks and leaf edges

Go to step 4 View Image - Flower and leaf stalks densely hairy; leaf edges have pointed teeth

Go to step 5 View Image - Flower and leaf stalks hairless or almost hairless; leaf edges have pointed teeth, often with thin, bristle-like tips

Go to step 6 View Image - Flower and leaf stalks hairless; leaf edges have blunt or round teeth, often with a claw-shaped gland at the tip

Step 4: look at the sepals

Spring cherries View Tree Details - Sepal edges are toothed; leaves hairless on the upper side with hairy veins on the underside

Fuji cherry View Tree Details - Sepal edges not toothed; leaves hairy on both surfaces

Step 5: look at the bark

Tibetan cherry View Tree Details - Bark on trunk and branches very glossy, purplish-brown and peeling in thin, copper-brown strips

Japanese cherries View Tree Details - Bark mostly dull grey or brown, sometimes peeling to reveal shiny red-brown on the trunk

Step 6: check how flowers are arranged, measure the flowers and fruit

St Lucie cherries View Tree Details - Flowers less than 20mm across, on stalks up to 15mm long, not arising from a central point; fruit less than 10mm long

Go to step 7 View Image - Flowers more than 20mm across, on stalks more than 15mm long, arising from a central point; fruit more than 10mm long

Step 7: note the flower shape and look at the leaves

Wild cherry View Tree Details - Flowers cup-shaped; leaves dull on the upper side, sparsely hairy on the underside

Morello cherry View Tree Details - Flowers saucer-shaped; leaves glossy on the upper side, hairless on the underside

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