American Cherry, also known by its botanical name Prunus serotina (Rosaceae), is a hardwood species with a fine, straight, close grain and a smooth texture. It has a rich satiny feel and can display dark wavy streaks. The heartwood of Cherry ranges in colour from red-brown to either deep red or a lighter red-brown, and may have brown or darker flecks. The sapwood is white/cream to reddish-brown and sometimes to a creamy pink. When quartersawn, the wood shows a beautiful figure.
Black Cherry, Choke Cherry, Cabinet Cherry, Edwards Plateau Cherry, Wild Black Cherry, Wild Cherry, Rum Cherry, Whiskey Cherry, New England Mahogany
Cherry is moderately durable but the heartwood is very resistant to decay. The sapwood is vulnerable to attack from the common furniture beetle. Can be treated although heartwood is hard to treat.
The drying and seasoning of Cherry is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Cherry - seasons well, either when air dried or kiln dried Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.
Cherry has medium strength and resistance to shock loads, low stiffness and good bending properties. It steam-bends well.
Furniture making, cabinetmaking, quality joinery, turnery, carving, musical instruments.
Spiritually this tree and its wood symbolise the strength of will and desire, for making and doing. It is also said to help you overcome challengingies and deal compassionately with others. It relates to the heart.
Possible Health Risks:
Wheezing and giddiness
Wood Worker's Thoughts:
A very nice timber to work with
Commonly asked questions about American Cherry Wood
Is Cherry a hardwood or a softwood? Cherry is a hardwood. It is the same for; is American Cherry hardwood or softwood? - American Cherry is a hardwood.
Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Cherry family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.
What colour is American Cherry? American Cherry can be described as brown, dark red, red
Is American Cherry good for outdoor use? or is American Cherry good for exterior use? American Cherry is most suited for interior/interior use. American Cherry can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).
Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood