AKA: American black cherry, black cherry, rum cherry, whiskey cherry, wild cherry
What: Hardwood tree with average height of 100’. Part of the only major timber belonging to the Rose family. Supply of the wood is cyclical; forests are not managed and are dependant on nature to regrow exhausted supplies.
Where: Pennsylvania is considered prime cherry country. North America pretty much corners the world cherry market.
Properties: A softer hardwood – harder than alder, but softer than walnut and red oak (Janka 950). Grain can be plain or figured. Figured cherry can have many rich flames. Has a rich reddish brown color, but can also have a grayish cast or a light straw color. Cherry is also slightly toxic, so toys or kitchen items are not the best applications for cherry.
Workability: Good wood bending properties. Cherry has low stiffness and medium strength. Works well with hand and power tools. Nails, glues, and stains well. Stains in a variety of colors and can be formal yet still offer warmth and coziness. Cherry is light sensitive which causes the color to darken – so any finish is a constant years long work in progress.
Uses: Furniture, furniture, furniture! Also very popular for cabinetry and paneling. Flooring, high-class joinery, boat interiors, tobacco pipes, veneer, excellent turning and carving wood.