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Cherry is a moderately heavy, strong, stiff wood from the Appalachian Mountains that delivers a mild to medium tone.

Cherry is one of the most sought after hardwoods among fine woodworkers because of its smooth uniform texture, medium weight and hardness.

This premium reddish-brown American hardwood turns darker and more rich as it ages. It is prized for its natural luster, attractive grain, and sumptuous warm glow.

Bone Rattling Facts
Cherry is commonly used for musical instruments including drum sticks, organ pipes, piano keys, pianos, sounding boards, violin bows, xylophones - and musical bones.

The heartwood offers natural resistance to decay which makes it perfect for heirloom quality musical instruments. But as a flowering species, cherry trees are easily attacked by various organisms including mites, slugs and insects such as fruit flies - so keep an eye on your cherry wood bones if you are rattlin' them at a picnic.

Cool Facts
Cherry is a popular and slightly harder substitute for true mahogany. It is often called New England mahogany. Cherry is the traditional choice for Chippendale and Queen Ann furniture.

Figures below are approximate (but pretty darn close)

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Cherry Facts
Scientific Name
Prunus serotina

Other Names

American black cherry
American cherry
Black cherry
Black wild cherry
Cabinet cherry
Capulin cherry
Cerezo de Los Andes
Chisos wild cherry
Choke cherry
Edwards Plateau cherry
Escarpment cherry
Gila chokecherry
Mountain black cherry
New England mahogany
Rum cherry
Southwest choke cherry
Southwestern chokecherry
Spate traubenkirsche
Whiskey cherry
Wild black cherry
Wild cherry

The grain is straight, finely textured and close with usually a gentle waving figure. Material with dark wavy streaks are frequently found and striking in appearance. Quartersawn pieces are reported to be very beautiful.

Cherry has a fine uniform texture. The wood often has narrow brown pith flecks and small gum pockets.

The luster is rich and satiny.

Heartwood Color
Light Reddish Brown (creamy caramel ripple)
Pale pinkish color, sometimes with greenish highlights when freshly cut. Changes to its characteristic reddish-brown, mahogany shade with age and exposure to light. Some specimens exhibit brown flecks and gum pockets.

Sapwood Color
The narrow sapwood is whitish to reddish brown. The wood has also been described as creamy pink.

Cherry has no characteristic odor or taste.

Cherry is easy to work with hand tools. It finishes smoothly and is dimensionally stable. The close firm texture saws cleanly, takes all kinds of finishes and exhibits superior polishing characteristics.

Environmental Profile
Some material from this species is reported to be available from sustainably managed or other environmentally responsible sources. In North America, black cherry is reported to be rather widespread, abundant, and secure, although it may be rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Cherry grows throughout the eastern part of the United States. Most trees are located in the Appalachian Mountains in New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It ranges from the plains to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Cherry also occurs in high elevations in Mexico. The species includes at least five known varieties of black cherry.

Tree Data
The average tree is about 80 feet (24 m) tall and 24 inches (60 cm) in diameter. It is shrubby under poor growth conditions and at the northern limit of its range. Cherry does best in the rich, moist soil of the Appalachians.