Natural cherry wood is perhaps the most prized furniture hardwood in America. Easily our most popular seller, cherry wood is a smooth-grained, reddish-brown hardwood that comes from the American Black Cherry fruit tree. Below you’ll find answers to the most common questions we receive about cherry wood furniture.
You may be surprised to learn that natural cherry wood changes colors over time and that the color can vary greatly between trees and the boards used in our furniture. While many types of wood can darken over time, this process can be very distinct when dealing with cherry wood. It starts out a light golden/pink tone and darkens to a rich, reddish-brown color as it is exposed to light.
This darkening or “ripening” process is most apparent within the first six months of light exposure and it may continue for several years before reaching that beautiful, reddish brown hue that cherry wood is known for. You can accelerate the aging process by exposing the wood to as much natural light as possible.
Cherry wood has a smooth, closed grain pattern, much like that of maple wood. As with any natural product, we expect and embrace unique characteristics in the wood grain. A single cherry wood board can have several contrasting grain patterns depending on the growth of the tree.
It is not uncommon to find different grain contrasts in the same piece of solid cherry wood furniture. The lighter grain was closer to the tree’s bark (sapwood) and the darker grain was closer to the tree’s center (heartwood).
When choosing boards for your furniture, our craftsmen focus on the darker heartwood, occasionally there will be some traces of sapwood. Our craftsmen will take the time to select and join boards that have the best available color and grain match.
Real cherry wood naturally develops mineral deposits--small black flecks in the grain of the wood where sap was once stored. Mineral deposits (or pitch pockets) are natural and randomly occurring.
Most of our furniture makers are reluctant to offer cherry furniture without mineral deposits for a couple reasons. First, it is against our sustainable forestry principles. Up to five times the number of trees need to be harvested to produce furniture with virtually no mineral deposits.
Second, the presence of mineral deposits in cherry wood can be a matter of opinion. What someone might feel is mineral-deposit free furniture may not be the same for you. If you would like a virtually mineral deposit free piece, please discuss this is with our friendly and knowledgeable sales team. Please note that a virtually mineral deposit-free piece will generally be about twice that of the regular price.
Some of our customers ask us about applying a wood stain to their cherry wood furniture. While we do offer colored stains on many of our products, we try to steer our customers toward clear, natural finishes for cherry wood. A natural finish will allow the furniture piece to showcase its natural characteristics. If you’re looking for stained cherry wood samples, you will find an option to order samples on every product page.
Here at Vermont Woods Studios, we guarantee that our cherry wood comes from sustainably managed and harvested forests in the eastern United States. For more information on our sustainable wood promise, please visit our sustainbility page.