In this issue’s Species Spotlight, Timber Products Company veneer specialist Eric Cullen shares his insight on Cherry.
Characteristics: Cherry, also called Black Cherry or American Cherry, features a fine, close grain and finishes extremely well. The species is often finished with a natural coat due to its beauty and color variations, which range from light tans and pinks to dark reddish brown tones. The pink and red tones are the most sought-after colors. Cherry’s sapwood is a pronounced shade of white that often ends up as backing grades. The wood is middle-of-the-road when it comes to hardness.
Two dominant characteristics that cause downgrades in Cherry are gum deposits and knots. Gum deposits are in almost every sheet of Cherry hardwood plywood. Figure is also common in Cherry but does present special finishing challenges. Figures are more prominent in the lower grades.
Cherry is sensitive to UV light exposure so it darkens in direct sunlight over time more than many other species.
Uses: Cherry is a prominent species used extensively for kitchen cabinets and furniture as well as architectural millwork for hotels, doctor’s offices, law offices and high end applications. The vast majority manufactured by Timber Products Company goes into kitchen cabinets.
Trends: Cherry’s popularity has risen and fallen over the past few years. In the past six months there has been an increase in the amount of A grade Cherry for homeowners who are willing to spend more for their cabinets to achieve a high-end appearance. Rustic Cherry is also trending in the marketplace.
The biggest users of Cherry are large OEM cabinet shops in the Midwest.
Did you know? Black Cherry produces fruit, but it’s not the sweet cherry that you buy at the supermarket. The fruit is tarter and used as an ice cream flavor. Cherry is also used to smoke meat and is provides a sweet, smoky flavor.
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