American Made: The History and Benefits of Real Cherry Wood

February 28, 2019

Hale Barrister Bookcases in Dark Cherry

The History of American Black Cherry Wood

Based in upstate New York, Hale Manufacturing has a long history of using North American hardwood to build sturdy Barrister Bookcases. American Cherry wood, one of our best sellers, is native to our area and has an interesting past. The valued American Black Cherry tree, also known as Prunus serotina, was called the “rum cherry tree” by settlers in the Appalachian Mountains, who used the fruit to make a potent liquor and extracted the inner bark to make tonics and cough medicine. Early New England furniture makers called cherry wood “New England mahogany” and used this wood as an alternative to more expensive Honduran mahogany. 

Cherry Wood's Durability Test

Hale Barrister Bookcase 3-Tier Stack 349 in Light Cherry WoodPrized for its durability and rich color, Black Cherry wood is a hard, close-grained wood, and is favored by woodworkers for furniture and cabinetry. According the commonly used Janka hardness test, developed by Gabriel Janka to measure a wood sample’s resistance to dents, American Black Cherry wood has a score of 950 pounds per force. In comparison, American Black Walnut has a score of 1,010 pounds per force and Mahogany has a score of 800 pounds per force.

Deepening Reddish Brown Color

In addition to its lasting durability, real cherry wood ages beautifully. The reddish brown color deepens over time, as exposure to natural light darkens the light pink wood to a rich brown. Cherry furniture is easy to care for and can last for generations. Learn more about caring for Cherry wood Barrister Bookcases.

Grown in North America

American Black Cherry Tree RangeAmerican Black Cherry is a fast growing species and is widespread in eastern North America. Hale Manufacturing sources our cherry wood from sustainably managed forests in North America, which cuts down on transportation costs and helps to reduce deforestation in ecologically at-risk regions across the globe. Learn more about our commitment to sustainably-sourced wood.

Real Cherry Wood, Available in Two Finishes



Hale Barrister Bookcases Dark Cherry and Light Cherry finish swatches

All Hale Barrister Bookcase styles are available in Light Cherry hardwood and Dark Cherry hardwood. See all the available wood options and finishes