The heartwood of cherry varies from rich red to reddish brown and will darken on exposure to light. In contrast the sapwood is creamy white. The wood has a fine uniform straight grain, smooth texture, and may naturally contain brown pith flecks and small gum pockets.
Cherry is easy to machine, nails and glues well and when sanded, stained and polished, it produces an excellent smooth finish. It dries fairly quickly with moderately large shrinkage, but is dimensionally stable after kilning.
The wood is of medium density with good wood bending properties. It has low stiffness and medium strength and shock resistance.
Rated as resistant to heartwood decay. The sapwood is liable to attack by the common furniture beetle, and the heartwood moderately resistant to preservative treatment.
Furniture and cabinet making, high class joinery, kitchen cabinets, mouldings, panelling, flooring, doors, boat interiors, musical instruments, turning and carving.