Skip to main content



 Shop Specialty Wood 

Family: Rose.

Latin Name: Prunus Serotina

Origin: Cherry is distributed throughout the Midwestern and Eastern United States. Main areas include; Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and New York.

Common Names: Black Cherry, Cherry, American Cherry.

The Tree (characteristics): Black Cherry trees can grow anywhere from 50 to 100 feet tall with a trunk 3 to 5 feet in diameter. The leaves of the Black Cherry tree are oval with a shiny dark green appearance on top of the leaf. The bark may be one of the easiest ways to identify Black Cherry. The older the tree gets the more its bark will appear distinctively scaly and darker in color with the edges of the bark pointing upward.

Appearance of Wood: Heartwood can have a variety of colors ranging from a rich red color to a reddish-brown color. The color will darken with age and light exposure. The sapwood tends to be a creamy white. The Black Cherry grain is straight with a fine, uniform, satiny and smooth texture. The wood itself may naturally contain brown pith flecks and small gum pockets.

Density: Black Cherry has a medium density, good shock resistance, and low stiffness with good bending properties. Average reported specific gravity ranges from .47 to .56 with an average dried weight of 35 pounds per cubic foot. Janka Hardness is 950 pounds of force.

Drying and Shrinkage: Black Cherry lumber dries quickly with moderately high shrinkage. The wood remains dimensionally stable after it is kiln-dried. Average reported shrinkage values are 3.7% radial, 7.1% tangential, 11.5% volumetric.

Working Properties: Black Cherry wood is very user-friendly. It is easy to machine, nails, and glues well. After staining and sanding it produces an excellent smooth finish. One difficulty that may arise when the wood is being stained is blotchiness. The use of a sanding sealer prior to applying the stain or using a gel stain is recommended.

Durability: Black Cherry wood is rated as moderately durable for outdoor use. Black Cherry is not as durable when used in flooring projects but in general, the heartwood is durable and resistant to decay.

Uses: Black Cherry wood can be used for fine furniture and cabinet making, molding and millwork, kitchen cabinets, paneling, flooring, doors, boat interiors, musical instruments, turnings, and carvings.

Availability: Black cherry is readily available.