Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The wood that comes from our native black cherry tree, Prunus serotina, is the most prized in the forestry/timber industry. The wood has the beautiful deep red color valued by furniture makers, is strong, and is easy to work. The Allegheny Plateau of Pennsylvania and New York is the region that produces the majority of quality timber. In the South, these trees are usually rendered useless for timber by a native fungal disease, black knot, which causes raised black swellings on trunks and branches. Right now, these cherries usually have a huge, disfiguring web of Eastern tent caterpillars in the crotch or juncture of large branches. Fortunately, established trees are seldom harmed by this feeding and replace the eaten leaves with new growth. In spite of these problems, this is a tree to plant because of its value to wildlife.