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
Throughout Midwestern and Eastern U.S. Main commercial areas: Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and New York. Average tree height is 60 to 80 feet. Cherry trees can live to the extreme ages of 150 to 200 years.
Fine furniture and cabinet making, mouldings and millwork, kitchen cabinets, paneling, flooring, doors, boat interiors, musical instruments, turnings and carvings.
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.