BOTANICAL NAME: Prunus serotina of the family Rosaceae
European Cherry is Prunus avium
Prunus is a genus of 120 to 400 species that contain fruitwoods like cherry, plum and almond. The species are native to North America, Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean region. All species look alike microscopically. The word prunus is the classical Latin name for the cherry tree.
COMMON NAMES: American cherry, capulin, black cherry, black wild cherry, cabinet cherry, chisos wild cherry, capollin, capuli, capulin, cerezo, detze, Edwards Plateau cherry, escarpment cherry, ghoto, gila chokecherry, mountain black cherry, muji, plum, rum cherry, southwest choke cherry, southwestern chokecherry, tnunday, wild black cherry, wild cherry, whisky cherry, New England mahogany, xeugua
European cherry is also known as cerisier, English cherry, gean, mazzard, mazzard, merisier, meurisier, and kers
COLOR: The sapwood may be light yellow or white or pinkish and is a fairly narrow band around the heartwood. The heartwood is salmon pink to brownish, sometimes with a greenish tinge, darkening upon exposure to a deep reddish brown with a golden luster. Cherry’s color ages extremely well, deepening and taking on a rich patina with age, particularly with exposure to sunlight. Relatively rare pieces will have red heartwood.
ODOR: mild, aromatic scent, but no characteristic taste
SOURCES: cherry is found in the eastern half of the North American continent, from the plains of the United States to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes and up into Canada, down to the Gulf of Mexico (generally it occurs only in high elevations in Mexico). “European” cherry occurs in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia and “American black cherry” sometimes occurs in Europe.
USES: cabinetry, interior furniture, chests, quality joinery, paneling, architectural woodwork, caskets, woodenware, toys, professional and scientific instruments, novelties, musical instruments, gun stocks, bobbins, canoes, tobacco pipes, printing and engraving blocks, skis, tool handles, kitchen ware, pattern making, ship framing, planking, and ship interiors
TREE: reaches a height of 100 ft (30 m), with a diameter of 4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m). It is shrubby under poor growth conditions and at the northern limit of its range. It does best on the rich, moist soil of the Appalachians.