Black Cherry (prunus serotina)
Natural RangeEastern half of the U.S., from the Atlantic Ocean to the Plains and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Grows best in the fertile soil of the northern and central Appalachian mountains.
StatureGrows to 100 feet in height and to diameters of 4-5 feet. Outside of the Appalachians, tends to be scrubby and dwarf.
AppearanceHeartwood is a deep reddish brown that develops a patina with age. Gum pockets (intermittent dark streaks) often appears in the heartwood. Sapwood is off-white to a light yellow. Texture is fine and uniform.
Weight35 lbs/ft3 @ 12% moisture content
Hardness950 lbf (kiln-dried)
WorkabilityTakes a finish easily and is dimensionally stable. Most machining processes, including turning, gluing, nailing, and sawing, are very favorable.
DurabilityWood is moderately hard and somewhat susceptible to dinging and marring. Very resistant to decay.
Data: Alden, Harry A., Hardwoods of North America (Madison, WI: U.S.D.A. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory), 1995.

Photography © Virginia Polytechnic Institute, U.S. Forest Service

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