Getting cherry’s digits

I saw some cherry for sale the other day advertised as 90/0. What exactly does that mean?

Submitted by WOODreader2

We tossed this one to Keith Stephens, owner of Woodworkers Source lumber supply ( According to Keith, sawmills or lumber wholesalers normally use this number only when selling to lumber retailers. It is a measure, by percentage, of the minimum heartwood content on the face and back. So, 90/0 would be at least 90% heartwood on the face with no minimum for the back. 90/50 and 90/70 are not uncommon in the hardwood wholesale business, but as you might suspect, the higher the minimum heartwood content, the higher the price. Because cherry sapwood is not technically considered a defect for hardwood grading purposes, wholesalers will often add this information in addition to the cherry’s board grade—First and Seconds (FAS), Select and Better (SAB), No. 1 common, etc.—to further describe the product.

Answered by caroline.jones