Big tree, tiny black berries

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dewtattoo, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. dewtattoo

    dewtattoo Out Of The Brooder

    75
    13
    39
    Feb 23, 2017
    Modesto, CA
    My Coop
    Hi guys. I saw where someone else asked this very same question on here, and even though I'm pretty sure from their description that we have the same tree, they didn't post any pictures to help get a proper answer. I've tried googling, and I've tried image search, but I'm not finding anything helpful. I've heard people talk about "Choke Berries" but from what I have found, those come for a short tree with reddish leaves. My tree is massive and has green waxy leaves with no veins in the leaves.

    This is the big (40+ feet) tree in my backyard.
    [​IMG]

    This tree grows tiny black berries that drop all over my yard.
    [​IMG]

    ...and when I say tiny, I mean TINY.
    [​IMG]

    I have built my new chicken coop directly underneath this massive tree because it creates great shade during our hot California summers. I need to know if these little berries or seeds or whatever they are, are safe for my chickens before I put them in their new coop. They won't be going into the coop for another 3 - 4 weeks so I have time to put a light roof over the run if need be.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,653
    4,175
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    In California that could be anything. What does the bark look like? Are those berries juicy and ripe, they look dried up? If so what color are they before they dry up? What does the flower look like?

    My first thought is a black cherry but it could easily be something different or even an imported non-native variety.

    You might try posting this in the Gardening section of this forum or go to the sister gardening forum and post there. We often enjoy trying to identify trees and such.

    https://www.theeasygarden.com/

    Another thought. Take some leaves, bark, and berries plus a photo of the tree so they can see growth habit to your county extension office and get them to identify it for you. Ask them about the berries. Less fun than guessing but a lot more sure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  3. dewtattoo

    dewtattoo Out Of The Brooder

    75
    13
    39
    Feb 23, 2017
    Modesto, CA
    My Coop
    As far as the bark goes, it is the tree in the picture below that is on the left, near the end section of my chicken run. The berries are semi-hard but can be popped. They are always a super dark purple/black. The don't seem to change during ripening.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. dewtattoo

    dewtattoo Out Of The Brooder

    75
    13
    39
    Feb 23, 2017
    Modesto, CA
    My Coop
    I just spoke with my local Forestry Department with the city I live in. I showed them the pictures and was told that the tree is a Privet Tree. The little black berries are toxic to mammals (acting as a laxative), but are not toxic to fowl and other local wild birds. In fact, birds seem to enjoy the berries. Which would explain the large Blue Jays that like to hangout on my back fence.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,653
    4,175
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I would never have thought a privet would get that big. You learn something new every day.
     
  6. coloradowildflower

    coloradowildflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    160
    18
    151
    Jul 12, 2008
    Utah
    Yep, we have several large privet trees like that. They make great shade!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by