Last edited 02 Oct 2020

The Properties of Cherry Wood

Cherry Wood.jpg



Cherry is a deciduous hardwood that possesses a fine, straight grain ranging from reddish brown to blond. The cherry tree itself can reach heights of 100 feet, or approximately 30 metres, although the average is 80ft (24 metres), with a tall trunk of around 24 inches (61 cm) in diameter. They can live for up to 100 years but are typically felled after 50 to 90 due to a susceptibility to rotting in their trunk.

Cherry, or American Black, grows in North America.

Properties of cherry wood

This type of wood is highly sought-after by both professionals and homeowners, as is a beautiful type of wood that is easy to work with. It also becomes darker and richer with age.

  • Aesthetics: In terms of appearance, cherry wood is usually reddish brown with a golden hue, although when it is freshly cut it is paler. Its oxidisation creates the popular rich brown-red over time. The heart and sapwood of the cherry tree are easy to identify as the sapwood is narrow and yellowish to reddish, while the heart is yellowish to light red-brown.
  • Texture: Cherry hardwood has a straight-grain, fine, uniform, satiny and smooth texture. It also has a moderate natural lustre.
  • Workability: This type of wood is also known for its great workability, mainly due to its straight-grained qualities. Because the wood can become blemished when it is being stained, many people first prepare it before it undergoes the staining process; typically, a sanding sealer or a gel-based stain is suggested.
  • Durability: Cherry hardwood is a moderately durable wood; its heart is very resistant to rot and decay.
  • Strength: Cherry hardwood is also moderately strong and has a medium ability to resist shock loads.
  • Flexibility: It is easy to cut, carve and mould, and is used for many different applications due to its flexibility. It has medium density and good bending properties, as well as low stiffness.
  • Structure: Cherry possesses a fine pore structure in general, though the spring growths’ pores are slightly larger. This makes it easy to discern the various rings in the wood.

Applications for cherry wood

Cherry is used in a variety of styles, and has also been called New England mahogany. It is often used to craft 18th century Colonial and French Provincial designs in the USA. This type of hardwood can have many different applications, therefore, including:

Cherry hardwood is cheaper than walnut wood and more workable than maple and oak, and is fairly rare in the sense that it is not harvested as often as other types of wood. Its flexibility, array of colours and patterns, and other physical properties make cherry one of the most versatile woods to use in a range of applications.

Find Out More

Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

--G&S Specialist Timber 08:59, 13 Nov 2017 (BST)

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again