Sour cherry is an introduced tree with a wide distribution in North America and New England. It yields fruits that are sour to eat (hence its common name), but which also have been shown to elevate levels of melatonin, an important chemical in regulating sleep-wake cycles. Many Native American tribes have also used infusions of the bark in treating a number of imflammatory problems, such as laryngitis.
Prunus cerasus (sour cherry, tart cherry, or dwarf cherry) is a species of Prunus in the subgenus Cerasus (cherries), native to much of Europe and southwest Asia. It is closely related to the sweet cherry (Prunus avium), but has a fruit that is more acidic. Its sour pulp is edible.
The tree is smaller than the sweet cherry (growing to a height of 4–10 m), has twiggy branches, and its crimson-to-near-black cherries are borne upon shorter stalks. There are two main varieties (groups of cultivars) of the sour cherry: the dark-red Morello cherry and the lighter-red Amarelle cherry.
Prunus cerasus, a tetraploid with 2n=32 chromosomes, is thought to have originated as a natural hybrid between Prunus avium and Prunus fruticosa in the Iranian Plateau or Eastern Europe where the two species come into contact. Prunus fruticosa is believed to have provided its smaller size and sour tasting fruit. The hybrids then stabilised and interbred to form a new, distinct species.
This plant is useful.
How to get rid of:
A hormone spray containing either gibberellic acid or ethefon can lessen the amount of fruit the tree produces or stop it from producing altogether.