The finest stands of black cherry are found in the forests of North-central Pennsylvania, the result of the unfortunate clear cutting of our northern forests in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Our forests were principally hemlock and white pine, and after they were cut over and abandoned, the area regenerated primarily as hardwood forest whose trees are now reaching their prime. The black cherry tree is an opportunistic species that thrives on open disturbed soil, with an avian distribution system to widely disperse its seed.
A large portion of this forest is now in the hands of the state of Pennsylvania in the form of state forests and state game lands, and the state of Pennsylvania is the first state in the union to have its forestlands certified as sustainably harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council. These forests are the source of most of our cherry logs and lumber, and the lumber we sell is selected for good color with minimal sap, gum, bird peck and other issues that diminish the appeal of the wood. We procure the bulk of our cherry within a 75 mile radius of our yard, and have logs custom sawn to our specs or sawn at our own facility. We also personally select lumber from local mills to ensure the highest quality material, and pay a premium for the right to reject whatever doesn’t meet our specs, for whatever reason.
The plain cherry is selected for its uniform color and overall quality, and we also carry curly or figured cherry that is selected for character and activity. The figured cherry can range from a tight tiger stripe to a broad series of irregularly shaped areas of compressed grain that can look like spots on a leopard. Cherry has the broadest range of figure in a single species of any wood we regularly encounter, so it is important as a customer to be able to communicate your version of curly cherry. When working with a new customer we often ask for photos of what their preference is, to see if we can match their expectations. As with all the figured woods that we carry besides tiger maple, it is not always possible to keep all of the thicknesses we try to carry in stock all the time. Due to our location in the heart of black cherry country we probably stock a greater variety and volume of cherry than any other species. We carry the lumber in all thicknesses from 4/4 to 24/4, and specialize and wide and matched material. While the industry does not consider sapwood a defect, we consider it highly undesirable and work hard to keep it to an absolute minimum.
Our widest stock is typically cut in to 4/4 and 5/4, with widths up to 20"+ regularly in stock and occasionally ranging in the 30" range. We have large sets of 4/4 for matching panel stock, and wide material in 5/4 for 1 piece tops and case sides for furniture. We keep sets of clear lumber in 4/4 through 8/4 for matching table top and counter stock, and carry 1 piece wide stair tread material in 5/4 thru 8/4. We also stock a full range of RWL- FAS to clear stock in all thicknesses to complement our wider material, and carry heavy stock that is primarily cut for leg and turning stock. We always try to keep longer stock on hand for molding and trim for millwork and boat builders. We obtain some cherry crotch wood from time to time, and have some sets of unusual material on hand, like birds eye, cats paw, blister and some sets with some type of character or wild grain, so we may have something unusual that you are seeking.
If you would like to read more about our cherry please click on the button below to read an article written by Louis Irion, the owner and founder of Irion Lumber Company.
The lumber as priced is all premium FAS/Select lumber with major defects graded out and selected to order.
Narrow stock, seconds, #1 common and shorts available at a lower price.
Shipping minimum 150 bd. ft. – No minimum at our yard.
Large selection of matched sets available in all species. .50 – $1.00 premium for matched sets.
Flitched figured logs priced according to width and figure.
Large retail area where you can choose your own stock, or personal selection, of the material for your project. Hours by appointment or by chance.
To learn more about our Lumber, contact us.
*ALL LUMBER IS GUARANTEED AS REPRESENTED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF PURCHASE, UNLESS CUT OR MILLED. PLEASE CHECK CAREFULLY UPON ARRIVAL*.