Colorata Vulgaris, the type of bird cherry, as a rule, grows in a small bush, the height of which does not exceed 5 meters. The foliage is red, and the fruit often has an almond aroma. Thanks to the purple hue of the bark, the tree becomes incredibly beautiful. It is not very fond of frosts, although it endures winter firmly.
Antipka is unique in that it is a real long-liver. The tree can live more than 200 years, is unpretentious, grows even on rocky soils. The distribution area is mostly in Europe and the Middle East. The tree grows on slopes to provide soil fortification, and from its bark, people are also making fragrances in perfumery.
We have already mentioned the similarities with sakura. And it is not at all coincidental because one of the varieties actually grows in Japan. It’s about Amanogawa. White-pink flowers bloom on the tree of this variety. According to the Japanese, Amanogawa is one of the main wonders of nature.
Siberian cherry is the name of a special variety that grows on Sakhalin. Not only it’s withstanding severe frosts, but it also has a large harvest. The tree can give up to 20 kilograms per season; it tolerates many diseases and frosts in spring.
The relatively new variety is the dense bird cherry. The tree produces dark brown fruits with a tart aftertaste. For one harvest, this variety gives almost 15 kilograms. Like others, it tolerates cold very well.
If you like sweets, then you will certainly like the Salomatovskaya bird cherry. Its berries have practically no astringency, each weighing almost 1 gram. The variety has a high yield of 45 kilograms per season.
Finally, the most popular is Ordinary. This bird’s cherry name is carpal. The colors of its inflorescences range from pink to yellow. That is why such trees grow as decorations in landscape design.
Benefits for the health
The beneficial properties of bird cherry have a wide range and affect the digestive system, circulatory system, immunity, genitourinary system, and joints:
- Tannins, contained in large quantities in bird cherry, can improve digestion. The peculiarity of these substances is resistance to heat treatment and freezing.
- Due to pectin, intestinal function improves peristalsis activity increases. The berry promotes better absorption of food and destroys many bacteria living in the intestines.
- Phytoncides help in the destruction of pathogenic bacteria. By the way, the same substance is helpful to repel flies and mosquitoes.
- Strengthening the cardiovascular system with regular use of bird cherry is possible due to the high content of vitamin P. It strengthens the walls of blood vessels, removes “bad” cholesterol and toxins. Thanks to ascorbic acid, the tone of the circulatory system increases.
- The berry contains a complex that includes beta-carotene and flavonoids – this combination is a good way to prevent cancer.
- With the help of calcium and potassium, regeneration can be accelerated, and with the help of minerals, inflammation can be relieved. The red bird cherry contains many phytoncides to fight diseases such as tonsillitis and bronchitis.
- A decoction from the tree’s bark is good for treating the urinary system and as a diaphoretic. It’s also helpful in strengthening joints, thanks to minerals, so this decoction is good for treating arthritis, gout, and rheumatism.
Doctors do not identify serious obstacles to bird cherry’s regular use, but they warn pregnant women. The hydrocyanic acid contained in berries is toxic itself. And although its volume is minimal, it still poses a threat to the developing child.
Storage of a bird cherry
You can store bird cherries in different ways. There is also a fascinating one, such as making flour. But first, you need to disassemble the drying.
The berry must be laying out on a surface to dry the bird cherry on a surface, for example, a baking sheet. It goes in an oven at a temperature not exceeding 50 ° C. Be sure to mix the fruits so that they do not dry out. As soon as you see that the berry has become wrinkled, you can take it out and put it in a lighted, ventilated place, for example, on the balcony. Then people are putting bird cherry in bags and stored indoors. Remember, the berry loves dryness. When dry, people can be store for almost 5 years.
To obtain flour from bird cherries, you should grate dried fruits. A coffee grinder is suitable for this. Flour is good for making bread or various pastries; it serves as the basis for jelly and tea.
The storing of bird cherry is good in frozen form or as a jam. To freeze a berry, you first need to sort it out, dry it with a paper towel, and put it in airtight bags. Then you can put it in the freezer. You’ll need from 1 kilogram of fruit to make a jam, keeping it in boiling water for 2 minutes. Then pour over the syrup obtained from the cooking and boil in a large bowl. The foam is carefully removed, boiled until thick. After that, you can pour the jam into sterilized jars and carefully cork.
Growing a bird cherry
A lot of reference books have been written about how to plant bird cherry. The plant has been cultivated for a long time; farmers recommend choosing August to September for sowing. The seeds should go in a container with wet sand and then be left in a cool place. As soon as they begin to sprout, the container must go in the snow. The best periods for seedlings to take root are autumn and spring. The hole for the future tree must be large enough, and you’re placing the roots in it freely. For the cultivation of bird cherry, there are special fertilizers that include minerals. It is enough to follow the instructions while not forgetting about organic fertilizers. The plant also needs watering; when the growing season begins, you should do it a couple more times.
Bird cherry always has enough moisture, but in case of drought, you should repeat the watering. Humus and sawdust are mulching the soil. Gardeners recommend growing several varieties on one side, keeping an average distance of 5 meters. It must be borne in mind that the plant loves light, and some of its varieties grow taller than the rest, overlapping small brethren with dense crowns. As soon as the planting is completed, you immediately need to cut the plant, measuring out a height of 55-60 centimeters. After the first year, the tallest shoot is cut 50 centimeters from the first tier of branches.
More tips on growing a bird cherry
Bird cherry is an unpretentious plant to care for, but it needs light and moderately moist soil. We have already indicated that it is recommended to plant at least 2-3 varieties in one area, but it is important to consider that they should bear fruit simultaneously. This is due to pollination. Note that some varieties require more frequent watering; these include Maaka. In all other respects, the care procedure is straightforward: we regularly dig up and loosen the soil, apply top dressing, weed weeds, and prune. Also, do not forget about various pests, for example, marsupial mushrooms, weevil beetles, miner moths, hawthorn, and silkworms.
Many interesting things can be told about the bird cherry; there are many legends and parables in which the bird cherry tree appears. Sakura among the Japanese is one of the main characters in many stories. Here are some of the most noteworthy facts about it:
List of facts
- Archaeological excavations have shown that the berries have been known to man since the Stone Age. It is not known exactly what was prepared from them.
- Bird cherry is common not only in Russia and the USA but all over the world. People are cultivating the plant wherever there is a temperate climate.
- You can use bird cherry flour to make a wide variety of pastries, including the famous Siberian cake.
- Making crafts of wood – bird cherry wood is hard and elastic, so it’s an excellent material.
- A synthetic analog of flowers people use in the army and serves as the basis for the manufacture of a poisonous concentrate.
- Simultaneously, it was bird cherry juice used as a remedy during the Great Patriotic War. With its help, people treat wounds.
- Hydrocyanic acid, which is a part of the flowering of bird cherry, has increased volatility. This is why you should not carry branches into the house. It may be beautiful, but it is dangerous for humans and animals.
So we learned all the features of the bird cherry. Of course, there is still a lot to tell about it, because it has become known to the world since ancient times. In Russia, people call the bird cherry “swarthy,” the ancient Greeks learned about it thanks to Theophrastus; all over the world, people consider it to be a symbol of love and youth. Interestingly, according to one of the legends, a girl who could not endure betrayal turned to the bird cherry tree, her heart froze, and therefore the flowering of the tree coincides with a cold snap. By the way, this is where the popular omen comes from, which says that you may know the onset of winter by the flowering of bird cherry.