Prunus avium - (L.) L.
Sweet Cherry
Other English Common Names: Mazzard Cherry
Other Common Names: sweet cherry
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Prunus avium (L.) L. (TSN 24770)
French Common Names: cerisier des oiseaux
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.137270
Element Code: PDROS1C060
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Rose Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Rosales Rosaceae Prunus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Prunus avium
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (01Apr2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CAexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KYexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, NCexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, TNexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada BCexotic, NBexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: High/Low
Rounded I-Rank: Unknown
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Prunus avium reproduces on its own throughout northeastern and midwestern North America and also in the Pacific Northwest, especially along fencerows, roadsides, and in open woods. There is a question as to whether it is naturalized in California. Apparently, most of its impacts are in Washington and Oregon; however, more information is needed. In the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon, Prunus avium has a high impact on native vegetation. It forms large monocultures (or near-monocultures), severely modifies natural habitats, and shades out forest understories. In the Willamette Valley Prunus avium is a dominant in the sapling layer of some Quercus garryana forests. At least some of these forests are of conservation significance. More information is needed about its ecological impacts across its range and its management difficulty.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 06Apr2004
Evaluator: Tomaino, A.
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Established outside cultivation in the U.S. (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: It reproduces on its own throughout eastern and midwestern North America, especially along fencerows, roadsides, and in open woods (Elias 1980).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: No mention of changes in abiotic ecosystem processes or system-wide parameters found in the literature; assumption is that any alterations are not major/irreversible.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Moderate significance
Comments: In the southern Williamette Valley of Oregon, Prunus avium has a high impact on native vegetation it forms large monocultures (or near-monocultures), severely modifies natural habitats, and shades out forest understories (NPS of OR 2002).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High/Moderate significance
Comments: In the southern Williamette Valley of Oregon, Prunus avium has a high impact on native vegetation it forms large monocultures (or near-monocultures), severely modifies natural habitats, and shades out forest understories (NPS of OR 2002).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Unknown

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:High/Low significance
Comments: In the Willamette Valley of Oregon Prunus avium is a dominant in the sapling layer of Quercus garryana forests (Thilenius 1968). Several Quercus garryana communities are of conservation significance (NatureServe Explorer 2004).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Widespread in the northeast and the northwestern United States (Kartesz 1999). Occurring in California only as a waif or garden escape, not naturalized (Baldwin et al. 2004).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Medium/Low significance
Comments: In Washington and Oregon, Prunus avium is classified as a wildland weed of lesser invasiveness, less agressive (WNPS 1997). In the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon, Prunus avium is a widespread problem, has a high impact on native vegetation; it frequently forms large monocultures (or near-monocultures), severely modifies natural habitats, and shades out forest understories (NPS of OR 2002). In Eugene, Oregon, this species is spread by birds into forested areas and is a quite common understory invader in forested areas (Medary 2003). In the northeastern U.S., Prunus avium often escapes from cultivation (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). Prunus avium reproduces on its own throughout eastern and midwestern North America, especially along fencerows, roadsides, and in open woods (Elias 1980). Apparently, most of its impacts are in Washington and Oregon but more information is needed.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High/Low significance
Comments: At most 62% of units, inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001). At least 15% of units, inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Prunus avium reproduces on its own throughout eastern and midwestern North America, especially along fencerows, roadsides, and in open woods (Elias 1980). In Eugene, Oregon, this species is spread by birds into forested areas and is a quite common understory invader in forested areas (Medary 2003). In Michigan, it occurs in dumps, fencerows, thickets, and forests (Voss 1985). In the Willamette Valley of Oregon Prunus avium is a dominant in the sapling layer of Quercus garryana forests (Thilenius 1968).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:High/Low significance
Comments: Prunus avium occurs in fencerows, roadsides, open forest, dumps, and thickets (Elias 1980; Voss 1985). Apparently it invades disturbed areas. Disturbed areas are not declining, therefore it is presumed to be not declining.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Inferred from USDA (1990), Daly and Taylor (2000) and Kartesz (1999), 30-90% of its potential range in the U.S. is currently occupied.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Fruits are eaten and dispersed by birds including grouse, robins, thrashers, and cedar waxwings (Elias 1980).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: Prunus avium occurs in fencerows, roadsides, open forest, dumps, and thickets (Elias 1980; Voss 1985). Apparently it invades disturbed areas. Disturbed areas are not declining, therefore it is presumed to not be stable or declining.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance
Comments: Prunus avium occurs in fencerows, roadsides, open forest, dumps, and thickets (Elias 1980; Voss 1985). Apparently it invades disturbed areas. In the Willamette Valley, Prunus avium invades Quercus garryana forests where the fire regime was disturbed subsequent to settlement (Thilenius 1968).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: In Quebec, Nova Scotia, and southern Ontario, spreading to roadside thickets and borders of woods (Scoggon 1978). In British Columbia, in mesic to moist forest edges and fields in the lowland zone (Douglas et al. 1999). These are habitats it has already invaded in the region of interest.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance
Comments: Seeds have been successfully stored at room temperatures for 2 to 5 years (Schopmeyer 1974). Presumeably, the number of seeds produced varies based on the size of the tree.

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Moderate significance
Comments: Can be controlled by digging out smaller plants, girdling trees, or cutting down trees, possibly painting cut stumps with herbicide (Thompson 1999). Seeds have been successfully stored at room temperatures for 2 to 5 years (Schopmeyer 1974).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Low significance
Comments: Seeds have been successfully stored at room temperatures for 2 to 5 years (Schopmeyer 1974).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Digging, cutting, or girdling individual trees presumeably would not cause frequent persistent reductions in the abundance of native species.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High/Low significance
Comments: Since Prunus avium is cultivated for its fruit (Elias 1980), their may be some accessibility issues.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Baldwin, B.G., S. Boyd, B.J. Ertter, D.J. Keil, R.W. Patterson, T.J. Rosatti and D.H. Wilken. 2004. Jepson Flora Project, Jepson Online Interchange for California Floristics. Regents of the University of California, Berkeley. Online. Available: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/jepson_flora_project.html (Accessed 2004).

  • Daly, C. and G. Taylor. 2000. United States Average Annual Precipitation, 1961-1990 Map Layer. National Atlas of the United States. Spatial Climate Analysis Service, Oregon State University; USDA - NRCS National Water and Climate Center, Portland, Oregon; USDA - NRCS National Cartography and Geospatial Center, Fort Worth, Texas. [http://nationalatlas.gov/prismm.html#1]

  • Dorn, R. D. 2001. Vascular Plants of Wyoming, third edition. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, WY.

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, editors. 1999. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Volume 3. Dicotyledons (Diapensiaceae through Onagraceae). British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, and British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria.

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, eds. 1999. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, Vol. 4, Dicotyledons (Orobanchaceae through Rubiaceae). B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, and B.C. Minist. For., Victoria. 427pp.

  • Elias, T. S. 1980. The Complete Trees of North America Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, New York. 948 pp.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2014b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 9. Magnoliophyta: Picramniaceae to Rosaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. xxiv + 713 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Groh, H., and H.A. Senn. 1940. Prunus in eastern Canada. Canadian Journal of Research 18: 318-346.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.

  • Medary, S. 2003. City of Eugene non-native invasive plant policy. City of Eugene, Oregon. Available: http://www.ci.eugene.or.us/environment/invasive_memo.htm. (Accessed 2004).

  • Native Plant Society of Oregon, Emerald Chapter. 2002. Invasive gardening and landscaping plants of Southern Willamette Valley. Available: http://www.emeraldnpso.org/PDFs/Invas_Orn.pdf. (Accessed 2004).

  • Schopmeyer, C.S. 1974. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. U.S.D.A., U.S. Forest Serivice, Washington, D.C., 883 pp.

  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978-1979. The flora of Canada: Parts 1-4. National Museums Canada, Ottawa. 1711 pp.

  • Swink, F., and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region. Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Thilenius, J. F. 1968. The Quercus garryana forests of the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Ecology 49(6): 1124-1133.

  • Thompson, L. 1999. March last update. Control of Invasive Non-Native Plants A Guide for Gardeners and Homeowners in the Mid-Atlantic Region Maryland Native Plant Society. Online. Available: http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Vines/2996/invasives.htm (accessed 2004).

  • USDA Agricultural Research Service. 1990. USDA Plants Hardiness Zone Map. Misc. Publ. Number 1475.

  • Voss, E.G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicotyledons. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1212 pp.

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