European Cherry

European Cherry (Prunus avium)

European Cherry, derived from the Prunus avium tree, has a fine grain and warm, rich red-brown colours. In boxmaking, we choose woods for their decorative appeal rather than their strength.

Characteristics of European Cherry

  1. Colour/Appearance — Heartwood colours range from a light pinkish-brown when freshly cut, deepening to a richer, reddish-brown with time and exposure to light. This natural darkening process enhances the wood’s beauty, making it highly desirable for crafting fine furniture and decorative items.
  2. Grain/Texture — Grain is generally straight and fine, though it can also display some waviness, which adds to its visual interest. It has a smooth, satiny texture that finishes beautifully.
  3. Odour — Mild, distinctive scent that is somewhat sweet and pleasant, often noticed during cutting and processing.
  4. Sustainability — Considered a sustainable choice when properly managed. It is widely available from well-managed European forests, ensuring a continuous supply without significant environmental impact.
  5. Common Uses — The wood is primarily used in the manufacture of fine furniture, cabinetry, and high-end joinery. It is also popular in the production of musical instruments and turned objects due to its excellent machining and finishing properties.
  6. Alternative Names — Sometimes referred to as Wild Cherry or Sweet Cherry, reflecting its origins from the fruit-bearing cherry tree species native to Europe.
  7. Countries of Origin — European Cherry is predominantly found across Europe, from the British Isles to Scandinavia and south to Italy and Spain, reflecting its adaptability and popularity across different European cultures.
  8. Box/Furniture Making — Highly prized in the furniture-making industry, European Cherry’s workability and attractive colouration make it ideal for crafting high-quality, elegant furniture pieces that are meant to age gracefully and gain character over time.

Wood Alternatives Based on Colour

  1. American Cherry (Prunus serotina) — Offers a similar appearance with a slightly softer texture, making it a close alternative for those looking for Cherry wood outside Europe.
  2. Mahogany — Known for its durability and classic dark reddish-brown colour that can mimic the matured look of European Cherry.
  3. Maple — When stained, Maple can approximate the lighter hues of European Cherry, providing a versatile alternative with excellent durability.


European Cherry timber stands out for its elegant colour transition from light pinkish tones to deep, warm reds, accompanied by a fine, straight grain that makes it exceptionally attractive in finished products. Its sustainability, coupled with its ability to age gracefully, makes it a top choice for crafting timeless and exquisite furniture. With its combination of beauty, workability, and environmental consciousness, European Cherry continues to be a favourite among both craftsmen and consumers who appreciate quality and style in their woodworking projects.

More information for European Cherry

Find more information about the tree species Prunus avium or more uses of European Cherry wood.

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