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Thread: Does Wild Cherry Make Good Lumber

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Seattle, WA

    Does Wild Cherry Make Good Lumber

    I've got the option to pick up a whole bunch of what I would term wild cherry logs (since we don't have the type of cherry logs that grow back east out here in Seattle), but I have a few questions before I do that. Is anybody out there familiar with this type of wood? Does it make usable lumber, and does it darken with age like the 'other' cherry? I have a sawyer all lined up, but I want to make sure I'm not wasting my time and money. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    I would think that all cherry logs come from "wild" cherry trees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Loven
    I would think that all cherry logs come from "wild" cherry trees.
    They're a different species Scott ... I just don't know how they differ when it comes to making lumber out of them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    On the river in Ohio

    Give it a try.

    I would check the prices and quality of locally bought cherry. Then I would saw into a log by hand and plane and sand a small piece of heart wood. Next bake it in an oven at 350 for an hour. Then I would try 2 or 3 stains and finishes on it. At this point you will realize that you have a great deal. Careful drying of the wood is your next problem. Post pictures of the rough sawn stack of wood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Modesto, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim VanBramer
    Does Wild Cherry Make Good Lumber

    I don't know about lumber but I hear she makes a good time.
    Mark Rios

    Anything worth taking seriously is worth making fun of.

    "All roads lead to a terrestrial planet finder telescope"

    We arrive at this the unswerving punctuality...of chance.

  6. #6
    From the forrest products lab WOOD handbook (Link at bottom)
    Cherry, Black
    Black cherry (
    Prunus serotina) is sometimes known as
    cherry, wild black cherry, and wild cherry. It is the only
    native species of the genus
    Prunus of commercial importance
    for lumber production. Black cherry is found from southeastern
    Canada throughout the eastern half of the United States.
    Production is centered chiefly in the Middle Atlantic States.
    The heartwood of black cherry varies from light to dark
    reddish brown and has a distinctive luster. The nearly white
    sapwood is narrow in old-growth trees and wider in secondgrowth
    trees. The wood has a fairly uniform texture and very
    good machining properties. It is moderately heavy, strong,
    stiff, and moderately hard; it has high shock resistance and
    moderately high shrinkage. Black cherry is very dimensionally
    stable after drying.
    Black cherry is used principally for furniture, fine veneer
    panels, and architectural woodwork. Other uses include
    burial caskets, wooden ware, novelties, patterns, and

  7. #7
    Good stuff. Beautiful. I have some stashed out for future use. Mine got a little warpy when it dried though.

  8. #8
    Very good wood. I love making cabinets out of it.
    Reporting live from somewhere near Kalamazoo

  9. #9
    Could it be a Bing Cherry tree?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I just found out that this is actually prunus avium, also known as European Cherry.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    New Zealand
    The European cherry doesn't have the same rich red colour that your 'black' cherry has.. apart from that it's very similar to work and finish. So yes, it's good timber, just not quite as pretty.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Puyallup, WA

    I've always heard the wild Cherry that grows in the PNW referred to as Choke Cherry. I believe its "technically" a bush, although by looking at it, one probably wouldn't call it that. I've seen it greater then 20" in diameter.

    Milled up into lumber, it has a greenish cast to it and does not darken up very much -- at least not compared to east coast black cherry.

    NW Wood in Puyallup typically has a fair amount available for sale.
    Peter Lyon

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Spokane, Washington
    This link describes it as having reddish brown wood.

    This one says why its not such a good idea to chew on leaves or stems.

    Eternity is an awfully long time, especially toward the end.

    -Woody Allen-

    Critiques on works posted are always welcome

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