Like all fruit trees, cherry belongs to the rose family. American Colonists used the cherry tree for its fruit, medicinal properties and home furnishings. They mixed cherry juice with rum to create Cherry Bounce, a bitter but highly favored cordial. The bark was used in the production of drugs to treat bronchitis, and cherry stalks were used to make tonics.
Where It Grows
Eastern U.S., principally Northern and Lake states. The average tree is 60 to 70 feet in height.
Fine furniture and cabinet making, mouldings and millwork, kitchen cabinets, paneling, flooring, doors, boat interiors, musical instruments, turnings and carvings.
3.9 percent of total U.S. hardwoods commercially available.
Did You Know?
Early printmakers used cherry for their engraving blocks.
The heartwood of cherry varies from rich red to reddish brown and will darken with age and on exposure to light. In contrast, the sapwood is creamy white. The wood has a fine uniform, straight grain, satiny, smooth texture, and may naturally contain brown pith flecks and small gum pockets.
Cherry is easy to machine, nails and glues well and when sanded and stained, it produces an excellent smooth finish. It dries fairly quickly with moderately high shrinkage, but is dimensionally stable after kiln-drying.
The wood is of medium density with good bending properties, it has low stiffness and medium strength and shock resistance.