Young black cherry has satiny, dark, red-brown bark that develops into gray flaky scales as the tree matures. Oval-shaped, pointed leaves appear in the spring. Then, before the new, reddish leaves turn dark green, flowing clusters of white flowers bloom. By late summer, purple, pea-sized cherries appear. Birds eat them and distribute the seeds. The heartwood of black cherry has a light pinkish-brown color when freshly cut. Sunlight deepens it to a dark orange-red. The cream-colored sapwood, however, never darkens to match. Black cherry's straight, close, and finely textured grain generally features a gently waving figure. Sometimes, trees yield boards with rippled or quilted patterns. Dark spots At 35 pounds per cubic foot, black cherry weighs less than maple. And, it is two-thirds as hard but just as strong and stable.
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