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Cherry Wood Characteristics

Cherry Wood Characteristics

The desirable cherry wood characteristics are rich color, natural luster, moderate hardness, silky texture, closed grains and greater pliability. To know these cherry wood properties in detail, read on.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Did You Know?
'Cherry Bounce', a strong alcoholic drink fermented by the early Appalachian settlers was flavored by the fruits of the Black Cherry tree.

As the name goes, cherry wood is harvested from the popularly grown fruit tree, cherry. Derived from the broad-leaved deciduous trees that shed their foliage periodically, cherry wood is grouped under hardwood. Due to its various advantages, cherry wood is employed for making several types of wood products and has been a favorite of craftsmen since ancient times. Cherry wood is commonly used for flooring, paneling, high-end furniture, interior mill work, kitchen cabinets, drawer-chests, sleigh beds and the list goes on. Furniture made of cherry wood looks adorable with gum streaks and other attractive markings. Cherry wood is also used in many musical instruments such as the Native American flute and the African Djembe. It is a better conductor of sound than even mahogany and so, is highly valued.

Qualities of Cherry Wood
  • Color: The color of cherry heartwood (older wood present at the center) is pinkish to reddish-brown, while the surrounding sapwood is cream or yellow in color. Immediately after harvesting cherry trees, the wood has a lighter shade. With time, it darkens to deep reddish-brown, giving a more elegant look.
  • Density: In terms of hardness, cherry wood is moderately hard, strong and medium weight. The fine grains along with smooth and sleek texture are remarkably adapted for wood work. In short, it takes up any type of wood finishing. Some of the best finishes for cherry wood are natural and light alternatives.
  • Pliability: In comparison to oak, maple and other hardwood alternatives, cherry wood is more pliable and flexible. At the same time, this attractive colored wood is strong and has also been found to be resistant to insects and fungi. All these cherry wood characteristics make it an excellent choice for flooring and home furniture.
  • Types: In the market, you will get different types of furniture made of cherry wood. The solid cherry wood furniture is exclusively made from cherry. While faux cherry is devoid of cherry wood, cherry veneers are created with cherry wood on the top layer supported by other wood on the underside.
  • Pricing: The price tag of cherry wood furniture is higher than other types of hardwood, for purposes such as flooring and cabinet making, simply because it is in greater demand. Cherry is also used for more exotic crafts such as pipe making and for boat interiors. 4x4 sizes of common cherry wood are often priced in the range of $6 - $7, whereas the more expensive 'special' variety can cost as much as $2.75 per board foot. According to personal preference, you can opt for light-colored wood or a darker shade.

Comparison with Other Hardwoods

It is natural to compare hardwoods before one undertakes investment hungry jobs such as wood flooring or paneling. Cherry wood, though not as strong as maple or oak, does have the necessary flexibility to be designed in multiple styles. In terms of shine and elegance it is second to none but needs to be contrasted with other furniture or wall colors due to its red hue. Oak and maple are denser, stiffer, hardwoods primarily used to provide strength and longevity, whereas cherry is used for more delicate wood work.

Feature Cherry Maple Oak
Color Red Off white or cream Red or White
Density Moderate Dense Very dense
Pliability Very Pliable Less pliable Stiff

The durability of cherry wood is increased, when proper furniture cleaning and maintenance procedures are followed, along with keeping it in well-preserved areas. Cherry is a versatile and easy wood to work with and can be carved into attractive pieces of home decor. Interior decorators recommend using stained cherry for the kitchen work areas contrasting them with light-colored cabinets or wood flooring. Mix shades and styles for your interiors and enjoy the rich, comforting presence of cherry wood in your home.
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