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Black Cherry Wood

Making It Grow! Minute logo

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. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.