Lexicon DIY-Knowledge


Kirsche / Prunus avium



Wherever sandy soils and a mild climate coincide, cherry trees are cultivated in gardens or orchards to produce fruit or wood. From the Near east to Europe, the Caucasian mountains to Northern Iran, in moderate climates on all continents, this tree can be found in forests and gardens. Important for timber production are especially the European cherry (prunus avium L.), also known as sweet or common wild cherry, and the American cherry (late-flowering bird cherry or black cherry). The latter is imported to Europe as logged timber and veneer from the United States.

Cherry wood is commonly distinguished by its country of origin. European cherry wood is therefore available as Italian or French cherry wood, for example.
The cherry is a heartwood tree. Even outside the vegetation period, it can be easily recognised by its dark and curly bark. In addition to the American cherry with its yellow-white wood, the European cherry is most frequently found in European hardware stores. It is highly decorative due to its warm, pale yellow to red-brown colour, its distinct annual rings and its fine structure and grain. Its reddish brown to golden brown colour is characteristic for aged European cherry wood.
Cherry can be processed by machines and by hand, has a high gluing stability and can be easily nailed and screwed. It is perfectly suited for turning and carving due to its high stability, can be easily bent after steaming and accepts paint and varnish without problems. Contact with water gives the wood a slight yellow tint. Contact with iron makes it turn grey.
Its low weather resistance restricts its use to furniture and indoor fittings. It is used as veneer, as material for marquetry and woodwind instruments as well as for carved and turned pieces.