Basic identification of cherry trees is done by inspecting the flowers, styles, fruit, leaves and bark. Cherry trees fall under the Prunus genus, and many other trees in the genus are similar. However, even a casual observer can use these factors to differentiate between a cherry tree and its relatives.
The first step in identifying cherry trees is to look at the flowers. Cherry tree flower clusters are either pink or white, and their flower stalks all originate from one central point. To demonstrate the difference, almond tree flowers grow in pairs, peach trees have single flowers, and blackthorn trees have flowers that either grow singularly or in pairs. Another way to identify cherry trees is to count the styles, which are the long tubes covered by stigma that connect to the ovary in the center of each flower. Cherry tree flowers only have one style apiece.
Measuring the fruit is a basic way to identify cherry trees. Cherry trees and cherry plum trees look deceptively similar, but cherries measure an inch in diameter or smaller, whereas cherry plums are 1 inch in diameter or larger. Cherry tree leaves are oval-shaped and pointed at the top. Lastly, examining the tree's bark also helps to identify it. Cherry trees typically have brown or gray bark with thin rims running horizontally around the tree.