6 Different Types of Cherry Wood & Uses

Cherry wood is a beautiful type of hardwood often used in diverse ways. There are six different types of cherry wood, each with its distinct look and feel. If you're interested in learning more about this type of wood or want to find out where you can purchase it, keep reading.

We'll give you all the information you need to know about cherry wood, including how to identify each type.

Characteristics of Cherry Wood

As mentioned earlier, cherry wood has been popular as a material for furniture and flooring since ancient times. Many historians say cherry wood was used to build Noah's Ark, but that story is most likely false.

However, cherry wood has long been a popular choice for creating high-quality products. Napoleon and Caesar used cherry wood to craft fine furniture and cabinets. Today, it remains one of our most popular choices for home renovation projects.

There are many types of cherry wood, each with a unique appearance and characteristics. The different types are differentiated from one another by both their color and grain patterns.

Cherry wood's variation offers woodworkers numerous options for designing their products. They can choose which type best suits their project or mix multiple types to achieve an aesthetic that's perfect for them.

The most common type of cherry wood used in home renovation projects is imported from Asia. It has a bright reddish-pink color, light brown, and dark pink grains.

This type tends to be less expensive than its American and European counterparts, but it's still high quality. American cherry wood has a reddish hue closer to purple, with brown or black grains and light pink accents.

Black Cherry

The fruit is black, not the wood.

The American black cherry (Prunus serotina) is a cherry species native to North America. The tree produces a dark, reddish-brown wood prized for durability, stability, strength, and shock resistance. Black cherry is often used in high-end furniture, cabinetry, flooring, and musical instruments.

The wood has a fine grain and a smooth texture, making it ideal for various applications. The trees are relatively fast-growing and can reach up to 50 feet (15 meters). Black cherry trees can be found throughout the eastern United States, from Maine to Florida.

It's a medium-density hardwood beloved for its warm coloration and figure. The wood ranges in color from creamy white to reddish-brown, with dark brown sapwood and darker heartwood.

Since the tree grows relatively quickly, black cherry wood is also a popular choice for wooden bowls, cutting boards, and other kitchen items. Black cherry is also prized for its beautiful grain pattern and unique figure.

Black cherry timber is one of the most popular woods in North America. Thanks to its versatility and beauty, it will continue to be a popular choice for years to come.

The wood takes well to stains and finishes, resulting in a beautiful, natural look that enhances any decor. In addition, black cherry is one of the most dimensionally stable hardwoods, meaning it's less likely to warp or cup over time.

As a result, black cherry is an excellent choice for any woodworking project. Whether you are building furniture or creating cabinetry, black cherry will give your project a look of quality and distinction.

Perhaps most notably, black cherry wood has a distinct smell that many people find appealing. This scent is caused by compounds called phenols, which are also responsible for the wood's reddish color. While the smell of black cherry wood may be pleasant, it can be overwhelming to others.

In addition, black cherry wood's strong fragrance may be absorbed into finished products made from wood, such as cabinets or floors. For this reason, it's essential to be aware of the potential for strong odors before choosing this wood for your next project.

European Cherry

An unlucky blend of rare, expensive and ideal for beginners.

European cherry wood (Prunus avium) is a cherry tree species native to Europe and Asia. The wood is hard and robust, making it ideal for furniture and flooring. European cherry wood is also used to manufacture guitars, violins, and other musical instruments. The trees are typically found in mixed forests, and they can grow to a height of 30 meters (100 feet).

European Cherry wood, also known as sweet cherry wood, has a beautiful grain often described as "buttery" in texture. This wood is also solid and durable, ideal for high-traffic areas.

In terms of color, the wood ranges from pale yellow to rich reddish-brown. European cherry wood is also highly prized for its distinctive figure, which can be either straight or curled. The wood is also relatively easy to work with, making it a popular choice for amateur and professional artisans.

Sweet cherry wood is a beautiful hardwood, but unfortunately, it's also rare, having been heavily logged in recent centuries. As a result, sweet cherry wood is now quite challenging to find. European cherry wood is also rare because the trees that produce it are only found in a few remote mountain regions. The limited supply and high demand for sweet cherry wood have made it extremely expensive.

As a result, it's mainly used by high-end furniture makers and other professionals who can afford to pay the premium price. For the average consumer, European cherry wood isn't an option.

European cherry wood (Prunus avium) and black cherry wood (Prunus serotina) are both members of the Rosaceae family. However, they differ in a few key ways.

European cherry wood is typically characterized by its pale pinkish-brown color and straight grain. In contrast, black cherry wood is darker and has a wavy grain.

European cherry wood is generally lighter and softer than black cherry wood. Perhaps most importantly, the two kinds of wood have different uses. European cherry wood is often used in furniture and cabinetry. In contrast, black cherry wood is better suited for construction purposes.

In short, while European cherry wood and black cherry wood may look similar at first glance, closer inspection reveals that they're pretty different.

Brazilian Cherry

Sporting an iconic texture.

Also known as Jatoba, Brazilian cherry wood is a beautiful, strong, and durable hardwood. Native to Central and South America, this type of wood has been used for centuries by the indigenous people, including for construction, furniture-making, and even traditional medicine.

In recent years, Brazilian cherry wood has become increasingly popular in the United States as a material for flooring, cabinetry, and other woodworking projects. Thanks to its rich color and grain pattern, it can add a touch of elegance to any home.

And because it's so strong and resilient, Brazilian cherry wood is also an excellent choice for high-traffic areas such as entryways and kitchens. Whether you are looking for a unique piece of furniture or a beautiful and durable floor, Brazilian cherry wood is worth considering.

However, Brazilian cherry wood is not without its drawbacks. One of the most notable is its tendency to warp and crack over time. This can be especially problematic in humid climates, as the wood expands and contracts with changes in moisture levels.

Brazilian cherry wood can be challenging to work with, particularly for novice woodworkers. The wood is tough, meaning that it requires special cutting tools and strong muscles to saw through. In addition, the wood is notoriously unforgiving, meaning that any mistakes made during the manufacturing process are unlikely to be corrected.

Additionally, Brazilian cherry wood is one of the more expensive hardwoods on the market, which may make it prohibitive for some budgets. As a result, Brazilian cherry wood is best suited for experienced woodworkers looking for a challenge. Brazilian cherry wood can add a touch of luxury and sophistication to any home.

When it comes to hardwood floors, there are many choices of wood species. Brazilian cherry wood is a popular choice because of its durability and beauty. The wood is also relatively easy to care for, and it can be found in both solid and engineered boards. Despite its weaknesses, Brazilian cherry wood remains a popular choice for many homeowners due to its unique look and versatility.

Solid Brazilian cherry wood floors are made from 100% solid wood. They can be sanded and refinished multiple times over the floor's life. Engineered Brazilian cherry wood floors are made with plywood or hardwood core. They have a top layer of Brazilian cherry wood.

Patagonian Cherry

A durable, long lasting choice.

The Patagonian cherry (Muntingia calabura) is a tropical tree native to regions of South America, including Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile. The tree grows to 15-20 meters (50 - 65 feet) and has reddish-brown bark. The leaves are dark green and glossy, and the flowers are white or pale pink.

The wood of the Patagonian cherry is rugged and durable, making it ideal for use in cabinetry, furniture, and flooring. The wood is also often used to construct musical instruments, such as guitars and drums. Patagonian cherry wood is typically reddish-brown, with a straight grain and a fine, even texture. Patagonian cherry wood is becoming increasingly popular due to its high quality and unique appearance.

The Patagonian cherry wood is durable and easy to work with, making it a popular choice for many woodworkers. However, one of the most appealing aspects of Patagonian cherry wood is its high wood content. This means that the wood is less likely to warp or crack over time, making it a very stable material.

Additionally, the high wood content makes Patagonian cherry wood resistant to insects and rot. For these reasons, Patagonian cherry wood is an excellent choice for anyone looking for durable and attractive hardwood.

Caribbean Cherry

An exquisite material, but it makes you work for it.

The Caribbean cherry wood (Muntingia calabura) is a beautiful hardwood from the Caribbean and Central America. The tree grows to be about 30 to 40 feet (10 to 12 meters) tall and has elliptical-shaped leaves 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) long. The tree branches are covered in small, white flowers that bloom throughout the year.

The wood of the Caribbean cherry tree is hard and dense, making it ideal for furniture and flooring. It's also used to make musical instruments, such as guitars and drums. The Caribbean cherry wood is grown in the countries of Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

The wood has a beautiful reddish-brown color with a delicate grain pattern. It's typically sold in either solid boards or plywood panels, and it's also known for its high resistance to pests and rot.

This makes it an excellent choice for use in outdoor furniture or decking. Caribbean cherry wood is a popular choice for both home and commercial applications for all these reasons.

Caribbean cherry wood is prized for its reddish hue and high density. However, this same density makes it one of the most difficult woods to work with. When sawing or sanding, Caribbean cherry produces a large amount of dust, which can be harmful to the lungs if inhaled. The wood is also very hard, meaning that it dulls tools quickly.

In addition, the Caribbean cherry is notorious for splintering and breaking under pressure. As a result, it requires a great deal of care and precision to work with. Despite these challenges, many woodworkers still choose to use Caribbean cherry for its unique beauty and strength. When treated with respect, this challenging wood can produce stunning results.

Chilean Cherry

Ages like fine wine.

Chilean cherry wood is a hardwood that originates from South America, specifically Chile. Its scientific name is Prunus salicifolia. The tree can grow up to 30 meters (100 feet) tall and 1 meter (3.25 feet) in diameter. The tree's wood is dense and heavy, making it ideal for various applications.

Chilean cherry wood ranges from pale pink to dark red, and the grain can be straight or wavy. Chilean cherry wood is often used for furniture and floors, as it's very durable and easy to care for. The color of the wood deepens with age, so it's perfect for an investment piece that will last for many years. In addition to its beauty, Chilean cherry wood is also solid and sturdy. It's not easily damaged by water or heat, which is ideal for high-traffic areas.

Chilean cherry wood is easy to work with and takes well to stains and paints. In addition, the wood is rot-resistant and insect-resistant, making it an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor projects, but the wood is scarce. The main reason Chilean cherry wood is not widely available is the insecurity of its future. When it first became popular in the 1970s, it was thought to be a unique new hardwood that would be perfect for various applications.

Unfortunately, it was soon discovered that the trees grow very slowly, making them difficult to harvest on a large scale. In addition, the wood is prone to damage, which limits its usefulness.

As a result, Chilean cherry wood has largely fallen out of favor. It's now only used in a limited number of projects. While it's still possible to find Chilean cherry wood for sale, it's not as widely available as other types of hardwood.

FAQs about Cherry Wood

What is Cherry Wood?

Cherry wood is a type of hardwood used to make furniture, cabinets, and flooring. It's easy to distinguish it from other types of wood because of its unique reddish-brown color, which makes it a favorite among consumers. However, because so many products are made out of cherry wood, you may find that other types also have a red hue to them.

Is cherry a good wood for furniture?

Yes, cherry wood is an excellent choice if you want to buy furniture. It's very durable and can be used to make all kinds of furniture items. However, it does have one major drawback—it can crack or split if exposed to water. Thus, it's not recommended to use cherry wood where moisture might build up, like in your bathroom or kitchen.

Is cherry wood rot resistant?

Yes, cherry wood has a lot of natural oils that make it resistant to rot. It's not uncommon to find hundred-year-old pieces still in good condition. However, it's important to note that these woods will last longer if you take care of them properly.
A little bit of maintenance goes a long way.

Is cherry a hardwood?

Yes, cherry wood is hardwood, and it is commonly used in construction and furniture making. However, it's not as hard as other types like oak or maple. As a result, you might find that pieces made out of cherry wood aren't quite as durable and sturdy as those made from other woods.

Where does cherry wood come from?

Most cherry wood comes from Japan, China, and parts of Europe. It's a popular choice because it's easy to work with and has a nice reddish-brown color that many people find appealing. However, some species grow in North America and Africa.

Ending Notes

Cherry wood is a popular choice for hardwood floors and furniture. It has a natural resistance to wear and tear, making it a good option for high-traffic areas. Cherry also ages well, developing a rich patina over time. Consider using cherry if you're looking for a beautiful, durable wood that will add character to your next project.

Posted by Harry Winston

Harry is an expert when it comes to decorating the interior of your dream home - as well as the tabletop with all sorts of delicious dishes. Whether you need culinary tips or interior design guides, you can rely on his expertise. When not writing about food or furnishing, Harry looking into these topics to stay on the top of current trends and new innovations.