This carving, pictured to the right, was developed using wood from a Bitter Cherry and a pocketknife.

Notice the perfectly curved arches curved around the ball in the center. Howard B. Taylor took great care and time to make sure that this carving would not only show off the beauty of the natural wood grain but also could move. The center ball is completely spherical and moves within the confines of the carving itself. It is similar to a child’s toy rattle that would make noise when shaken. As the ball turns within these arches, it displays the reddish sheen of the wood.


Scientific Name

Prunus Cerasus

The scientific name describes the notched petals.


Can grow to around 30 feet tall

A one-story house averages 10 feet tall. It would take 3 houses stacked on top of one another to reach the height of an Bitter Cherry tree.


Grows to around 8 inches in diameter

A standard, three-hole punch, college ruled piece of paper is 8.5 inches wide.

Another common name for this tree is sour cherry or pie cherry. Its technical name is Prunus Cerasus. The scientific name describes the notched petals. This is a small, introduced fruit tree sometimes called a thicket-forming shrub. It has slender, drooping branches, a short trunk, broad rounded crown, and sour cherries.

The height is around 30 feet and the diameter 8 inches. The bark is dark brown and smooth. The twigs are shiny red and hairy when young. The leaves of this tree are 2 to 3.5 inches long and 2.5 to 6 inches wide. They are oblong to elliptical, blunt or rounded on the tip, and the base comes to a point. The margin is sawtooth. These leaves are dark green on top and lighter green underneath, and sometimes hairy. The flowers are 1/2 inch with 5 rounded, notched petals. There are 3-10 flowers on a stalk and the fruit are 3/16 to 5/8 inches in diameter with a red to black skin. The fruit matures in summer and is not edible. The fruit is consumed by many songbirds and mammals.

The tree lives on mountain slopes and valleys in moist soil. It also grows in chaparelle or coniferous forest. It ranges from British Colombia west to Montana and south to southern California and southwest New Mexico to 9000 feet in the south.