My daughter has just moved house and the new garden has a tall shrub/tree in it which we are concerned about.
The branches have long thorns and there is fruit like a small bright green cherry, a lot of which have turned into elongated light brown "pods", all over it.
As my daughter has small children and a puppy; could you tell us what this plant is and are these fruits/ pods at all harmful?
A little more info. I have split the fruits open. The green "cherries" are indeed like very hard green cherries or perhaps olives with a stone inside. The pods do not appear to be mouldy, but when snapped are thick pods with a single tiny pea like seed inside.
The green "cherries/olives" and pods are formed on the same branches adjacent to each other.
The bush is about 12 feet high with thorns up to 3" long in places
I have looked at a number of images for prunus cerisferia, wild cherry plum trees and some of the crab apples and goodness knows what wlse, I just can't seem to find anything that matches the whitish fruit/seed or the shape of the olive colored pod.
Perhaps Resin will wander in and have a look. I even looked at an ash tree that was listed as being confused with the cherry plum.
Thanks all for trying but I have looked at the trees you mention and wonder if the wild plum cherry might be a possibility.
A Thought! Could the pods be some sort of deformity of the green "cherry". Could the tiny seed inside the essentially empty "pods" be the start of the pip which is fully present in the round green versions.
In this case we would only be looking for a tree/bush which has big thorns and green fruits which look like raw cherries.
So far none of the green cherries have turned red, but a lot have simply shrivelled to small blackish things.
I attach a different photo showing the lower part of the bush, but it is another six feet high above what is shown.
Hi Peter. When it comes to plants and the diseases/disasters that cause problems, it seems just about anything is possible. A fungal infection could certainly cause deformities. Have you picked/opened any of the white fruit/pods on the tree? Does the white covering wipe off, cover only the outside, or extend through the pod?
Here is a photo of the fruits and leaves from this bush. I am becoming more convinced that the "pods" are some form of deformed mini-plum.
As you can see the fruits vary from mini green plums/cherries to oddly shaped pods. The pods are indeed going moldy on the outside and shrivelling up. There is an occasional small seed inside the generally empty pods as shown.
Does this confirm that the bush is in fact a wild cherry plum as you first suggested?
I think it strengthens the probablility of the genus Prunus a bit more, but I am not experienced enough to give you a positive ID. Your concern was for the safety of your grandchildren...I would prefer some more knowledgable affirmation.
I think Suse reference to the Taphrina disease and Moonhowls suggestion the the tree is a wild cherry plum may have solved the problem.
I have looked up wild cherry plum with reference to Taphrina disease and the images I have found are identical to what is evident on our bush.
It would seem that the bush is safe ( albeit we will have to dispose of existing infected fruits ), and might be worth keeping if the disease can be eradicated by cutting back all the infected branches.