How to identify chokecherry tree easily is the right question to go for if you see this beautiful tree and would like to determine it. This is why you would try to collect as many details of the tree as you can, especially noting the attributes of the tree’s leaves, stem, and flowers.Identify Chokecherry Tree Easily

Your Prunus virginiana tree is easy to identify when you remember how its leaves and other parts look. To learn the complete guide to identifying your tree, read this article.

How To Identify Chokecherry Tree The Easy Way?

To identify chokecherry tree the easy way, check the leaves, flowers, fruits, bark, and branches of the tree. Also, observe the general appearance of the tree, as these trees are usually small to medium-sized. If you cannot identify the tree, consider asking local tree experts or checking online forums.

– Check the Leaves

Leaves are some of the most popular parts of trees, so using leaves to identify trees is very common. The leaves of chokecherries are alternately arranged on the branch. Also, they are grayish or dark green in their color. You must also see their features, and for this, the simple and elongated leaves have serrated edges.

Chokecherries have leaves of two to four inches in length. The leaves have a pointed tip while their base is rounded or tapered. Note that the Canada red chokecherry leaves can be red, giving the tree a beautiful view.

– Examine the Flowers

Flowers are also great for identifying trees, as different trees have different flowers. Chokecherries produce little white fragrant flowers in the spring months. Every flower has five petals and is very beautiful to see.

Chokecherry flowers grow in racemes, and you must know that the racemes are elongated clusters of flowers. A raceme in your chokecherry can be three to even six inches long, depending on the tree’s growing conditions.

Other trees that look similar to chokecherries are buckthorns and black cherries. These chokecherry look alikes are, however, different from chokecherries, as they have different fruits and general appearance. They are mostly similar because of their leaves and sometimes flowers and bark, and this way, you could be able to tell with all ease.

– Look At the Fruits

Is there a better way to identify trees than by using their fruits, because they produce berries. The berries are dark purple or black and have the size of a pea. The berries grow in dense clusters just like the flowers. Chokecherry berries are edible, and they have a tart taste. You can use these berries to make products such as jams, jellies, and syrups. Chokecherry jelly is very delicious.Berries on the Chokecherry

The seeds of chokecherries can help in chokeberry identification. Each berry has a single large seed. These seeds are toxic when you eat them raw. Just like apple seeds, the seeds of chokeberries contain the cyanide toxin.

With this in mind, you must also consider that the best time of the year to identify chokecherries is during the spring and summer months. In the spring, you can identify the tree through its flowers. In summer, you can use the fruits. However, the leaves are available throughout the year, and this way, if you check in the right season, you would be more detailed on the fruit it bares.

While the leaves and general appearance of trees can help you identify them, flowers and fruits help a lot. For example, you can tell what tree you’re looking at just by the look and taste, of its fruits. People mostly remember trees because of their fruits, and for this, some trees, such as the chokecherry are named after their fruits, and how they are often identified as.

– Examine the Bark

Examining the bark of trees is another good way to identify the tree, and for this, you would notice that this tree is on that has smooth and gray bark when they are young. However, the bark becomes darker, developing shallow horizontal fissures as the tree matures. The bark is not easy to scrape out of the tree, as it hardly becomes deadwood.

– Examine the Branches

You can also identify a chokecherry by its twigs and branches. The branches are gray, purple, brown, or red. The buds of chokecherries are about one-third of an inch long and are usually covered with some brown scales.

Moreover, you should notice that if you break the twigs of chokecherry, you will perceive a very unpleasant smell, and together with this, remember not to destroy the tree by breaking its branches.Branches of the Chokecherry Tree

– Observe the Shape and Size of the Tree

Instead of going into specific details to identify a tree, you can stand some distance away from the tree and look at the whole tree. The trees are small to medium-sized trees, growing 15 to 30 feet. Chokecherries have an oval canopy, and they grow in an upright and spreading form. The trees have a lot of suckers, so you will likely see them forming clumps due or clusters.

– Notice The Growing Region or Zone

The region or zone in which you find a tree plays a major factor, and some trees are tropical, while others are subtropical or temperate. If you find a tropical tree growing well in a temperate region, you can conclude that what you’re looking at is not a tropical tree. Likewise, you can only find chokecherries in regions where chokecherries grow naturally or have naturalized.

Chokecherries are native North American trees. However, you can only find them in the continent. You can only find these trees in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 7 in the United States. You may find naturalized chokecherries outside these zones, but not too deep into the wild because this is separate from their growing habit.

– Check the Pests Around the Tree

Generally speaking, pests are bad for plants, and their presence around your plants and trees should get you worried. However, in the case of identifying trees, pests can be very helpful. Many pests are host-specific, so they love attacking just one or a few types of trees. This means that when you see such pests around a tree, you can guess what tree it is.Pests Infestation on Chokecherry

For these trees, you may find some pests that attack them: aphids, fall webworms, apple maggots, and scales. When you see one or a combination of these pests around a tree that you think is a chokecherry, the tree is most likely a chokecherry. However, double-check by using other identification methods.

– Ask Local Tree Experts

Another great approach that you can take is to go ahead and ask tree experts who know every type of tree, especially in their locality. This means that if you can find a botanist or someone generally experienced with identifying trees, you can know, for sure, if what you’re looking at is a chokecherry tree or not, if you cannot identify it by your own

If a university, botanical lab, or extension office is nearby, you can take photos or samples of your unknown tree to them. The professors, students, and other tree experts will tell you what tree you were looking at and provide extra details if needed.

– Ask Online Forums

Don’t give up yet if there is no place with tree experts around you. Go online and search for botany forums, as they will tell you the name of your tree, quickly. If your local community has an online form where they discuss community matters, you can also ask them to help you identify your unknown trees.

This means that you need clear photographs of the tree. Collect a general photo of the tree so that every part of it will show. Also, collect photos of the leaves, fruits, bark, flowers, and other parts. People in the forum will help you identify your tree with these photos.

For this, you should also know that you must ensure that you double-check, as only some in online forums are tree experts. After different tree names are given, check each one and find the one that matches the tree that you are looking at.

In case you can’t find any forum to help you identify your tree, you can download a free app to help you identify the tree. There are so many apps to use in identifying plants and trees. Consider downloading two or more to compare their results and suggestions; the easy part is that these apps need a clear photo of the tree.

If all the results of the different apps are the same, you still have to double-check. If the apps suggest that you are looking at a chokecherry, and you are sure that the tree is a chokecherry, you can conclude that it is a chokecherry. However, if the apps bring another name, ensure that you double-check, as most of these apps propose the most popular tree with details on the uploaded tree photo.

– Take Samples to a Tree Nursery

Tree nurseries propagate and sell some of the most beautiful trees on earth. However, while they propagate and grow trees, they can also help you to identify trees. Take some leaves, branches, and flowers of the tree to a tree nursery and ask them for identification.Growing Chokecherry on a Nursery

They will help you identify the tree, and you must also consider that the positive side is that going to nurseries is that there is most likely a tree nursery near you so long as you live in or around a city.


Identifying chokecherry or the Prunus virginiana trees will be super easy for you now, and for this, remember these details of the trees:

  • Chokecherry leaves are elongated and have a pointed tip and rounded base.
  • This trees are small to medium-sized, and if you are looking for a very tall tree, it is not a chokecherry.
  • The bark first starts as smooth and gray before it becomes wrinkly and dark.
  • The fruits are black or dark purple berries. They are edible and have a lot of uses.
  • Collect a branch with some leaves, and flowers on it, and then ask local experts to help you identify the tree.

It does not matter if you find the common chokecherry or other types of chokecherries, use the tips in this article to identify the trees, yet you should also remember to double-check.

5/5 - (11 votes)
Evergreen Seeds