Black Cherry

Each year the black cherry tree grows a new annual ring under the bark. This new sapwood is light in colour. At the same time one of the inner rings turns into dark heartwood. This gives the cherry its wonderful contrast between the light sapwood and dark heartwood. There are often small black intrusions seen in the wood called 'cherry tar'. This is caused when a woodpecker pecks through the bark of the tree to gather sap to drink. This small injury grows over but leaves a tiny black scar in the growth ring. Because this happens throughout the life of the tree, the lines can be found throughout the wood of the tree.

Black cherry is a perfect wood for salad bowls. It is both beautiful and durable. Many of my cherry bowls are solid dark heartwood, while others have a hint of the light sapwood.

The black cherry tree is a native deciduous plant to North America and is the largest of the wild cherries. It is prized for its wood, which has been used by carpenters and cabinet makers since colonial times. The tree is also an important source of food for wildlife. Black cherry's scientific name is prunis serotina.