Cherry Is a Popular Domestic Wood for Cabinets
Sponsored by: Northwest Hardwoods: Lumber that’s Graded For Yield®.
American cherry continues to be popular with furniture manufacturers especially in residential furniture, particularly bedroom and dining room pieces.

It is a good domestic cabinet wood due to its warm red tone and dramatic grain cathedrals, plus many consumers ask for it by name. Over the past 20 years or so it has become a much more popular wood for the kitchen cabinet market as well.

American cherry can be finished in a wide range of colors and turns more red with age. It is a hardwood, but is still easy to machine. It is not particularly easy to bend, and is prone to splitting when steam bent, unlike ash that is more flexible. Black cherry is widely reported to be the largest of the native cherries and the only native cherry to be considered commercially valuable. Found throughout the United States, cherry’s prime growing areas are considered by many to be Pennsylvania and New York. Its range also includes parts of Canada.
Pennsylvania cherry also has the least amount of pitch pockets. Buyers come from all over the world searching for the color, also called pink salmon. If you go farther North, the cherry is bright pink; farther South, it becomes more orange in tone.
Cherry thrives in full sun, so the long-ago practice of clear cutting forests actually helped the supplies of cherry to grow. It has been a popular fine furniture wood since the early settlers discovered its properties. It is especially prized for its beauty and workability, its fine grain texture and range of figures, which includes curly cherry. When finished, cherry wood is a beautiful salmon pink to red and its color improves with time.
American cherry grows in the eastern United States and Canada. Its uses include furniture and cabinetmaking, high-end joinery, musical instruments, flooring and boat interiors. It is a favorite for turnery and carving and also is used in pattern making and specialty items.

Wood Specs

Family Name
Prunus Serotina of the Family Rosaceae
Common Names:
American Black Cherry, cabinet cherry, rum cherry, whiskey cherry, wild cherry, Pennsylvania cherry, mountain black cherry
Average height is 50 to 100 feet, with average diameters of 1– 2 feet. The average weight is 36 pounds per cubic foot, with a specific gravity of 0.58. 
Janka hardness rating of 950
Cherry dries fairly rapidly with little degrade. Use care to avoid shrinkage during seasoning. Cherry works well with both hand and power tools and can be glued without problems. For finishing, cherry does well with a variety of treatments.
Numerical Values:
Modulus of Rupture: 12,300
Average Dried Weight: 36 lbs
Moisture Content: 12%

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user joannkaiser
About the author
Jo-Ann Kaiser

Jo-Ann Kaiser has been covering the woodworking industry for 31+ years. She is a contributing editor for the Woodworking Network and has been writing the Wood of the Month column since its inception in 1986.