There’s a little ‘copse’ of wild cherry trees (Prunus avium) in one corner of the allotment. Most years I scarcely notice the fruit. The cherries are usually less than half the size of a cultivated cherry, and more stone than flesh. But this summer there has been a magnificent crop, and I’m afraid I’ve been grabbing handfuls as I pass, stuffing them in my mouth, and spitting out the stones willy-nilly. Delicious, but most uncouth, and doubtless my regardless foraging activities will give rise to a whole new forest.
And why not? These native British trees are very beautiful; quite stately in habit and tall with handsome chestnut coloured trunks. Hitherto my dealings with them had been confined to autumn when I go and rake up the leaf fall to make compost. And what a golden harvest it is. The leaves are very lovely; so much so, I often feel they should be edible too. I have yet to try them. In the meantime, the Woodland Trust has more to say about the Wild Cherry.