Species of the Week: Cherry

Species of the Week: Cherry!

American cherry is a supreme hardwood species from the U.S. hardwood forests and is unique to North America, with warm colour tones and superb finishing qualities.

The heartwood of cherry can vary from rich red to reddish brown and darkens on exposure to light with time. The sapwood is creamy white. Although the difference between heart and sap colour is marked, this can be reduced by steaming.

The wood of cherry has a fine uniform, straight and unpronounced grain with a fine smooth texture. The small brown pith flecks, pin knots and gum pockets or streaks are natural characteristics of cherry, but their occurrence varies according to region. Another common name is Black Cherry.

Cherry lumber is easy to machine, plane and turn. It glues well with good performance in screwing and nailing. It has excellent carving and moulding properties. Cherry can easily be sanded, stained and polished to a very fine and smooth finish.

The heartwood is resistant to decay and is moderately resistant to preservative treatment.

Users should take into account that both the heartwood of cherry can darken in tone quite quickly on exposure to light.

This sustainably managed wood from natural forests of North America, with excellent environmental credentials, is revered worldwide for its warmth of colour and fine finish. It is highly suitable for furniture, cabinet making and high class joinery. It is widely used for doors, panelling, architectural interior joinery, mouldings and kitchen cabinets, and some flooring. It is also used in certain specialist applications such as musical instruments and boat interiors.

American forest cherry trees grow principally in the northeast of the USA in mixed hardwood forests. The species is different from the many floral cherries planted throughout the world. It is a single species; the trees growing tall and often in dense stands in several U.S. states, notably Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.

Cherry has a relatively short rotation, taking less time to mature than other hardwoods. Much of the current resource is the result of cherry’s ability to regenerate naturally after forest fires.

*All information has been pulled from americanhardwood.org.


The limited edition Bilgola furniture collection, in American cherry, by Adam Goodrum.

The Rimini Convention Centre, Italy, designed by GMP Studio, with American cherry flooring.

The Paramount office’s, with American cherry cabinetry, designed by The Office Space.

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