Pin cherry is a tree or shrub that grows up to 30 ft in height. The small, white flowers occur in clusters of 5-7. The leaves are longer than they are wide, green in color, with teeth around the margins. The fruits are small and red, typical of a cherry, with a hard 'stone' in the middle. Pin cherry is similar to Black cherry but Pin cherry leaves are narrower and more sharply toothed. The bark is smooth and reddish-brown with horizontal streaks called 'lenticels'. Fall color is a vivid-pinkish red.
Pin cherry is found through much of the United States, from the east coast as far west as Montana and Colorado, as well as into Canada. The small red fruits ripen in August and are eaten by bears and birds. They have been used to make jams and jellies but are not as commonly used for this purpose as some other cherries. Pin cherry seeds are notable because they can remain viable in the soil for as long as 50-100 years, allowing them to come back after major disturbance events such as flood or fire.