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North American Cherry

Cherry is probably one of the most well know woods. It has been used for many different purposes including some outside of woodworking. It's bark has been used for medicinal purposes, and occasionally for making tonic.
Because of cherry's strength and stability, it is a popular wood for furniture makers, pattern makers, woodturners, musical instruments, professional and medical instruments, and is even used by the printing trade to back electrotypes and zinc etchings.

This popular wood can be found in Midwestern and eastern United States. It's supply isn't highly abundant, and it is primary harvested for high grade lumber where it's attractive color can be displayed. The price of cherry is based on the absence of gum pockets, pin knots, and figure. It's grade is determined by the amount of figure that the wood has. Cherry without any figure is reportedly hard to find.

Black Cherry is the largest of all North American Cherry trees, reaching heights of 100 feet (30m). The average height for these trees is about 80 feet (24m). The tree can be harvested after 35 to 40 years of growth, and they can reach full growth after 100 years. Although cherry is well know for its wood, it is also know for it's spring blossoms. Beautiful white blossoms adorn its branches when it reaches full bloom in middle April to middle March.

The heartwood of cherry trees is the most popular area used as it has the reddish color that cherry is associated with. The sapwood ranges from a whitish color, to a light reddish brown. Some flooring manufacturers steam the wood to bleed the red color of the heartwood into the sapwood. Cherry has a relatively fine grain and often has a striking wavy appearance to it that is highly favorable. The wood is highly resistant to decay, although the sapwood is susceptible to attacks from the furniture beetle. Cherry has excellent stability and is warps or moves very little once dried.

 

Cherry tree blossoms

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