We’ve already looked at Red and White Oak and two types of Maple. Rounding out 5 of the most significant North American hardwood species, we’ll take a look at Poplar and Cherry. Really, these species don’t have much in common besides the fact that they’re both North American hardwoods. But each has its place in our forests, the J. Gibson McIlvain lumber yard, and — quite possibly — your next project.
Comprising 4% of North American hardwoods, Poplar is an often-overlooked species that could be saving you money. With widespread growing areas throughout both North America and Europe, the Poplar tree grows quickly and is very large, making it highly sustainable.
Because its coloring and grain lack interest, Poplar is typically used for a paint-grade wood or for behind-the-scenes applications. Wide, clear sections of Poplar are highly available and suitable for many uses. With kiln-drying, we can ensure the stability of Poplar, which boasts easy working properties and takes stain and paint quite well.
Cherry makes up 11% of domestic hardwoods, and most of this gorgeous species comes from the Appalachian region of the United States. J. Gibson McIlvain buys the Cherry we carry directly from Pennsylvania and Ohio Valley sawmills, since those areas tend to produce top-quality Cherry with consistent color that our customers appreciate.
Cherry boasts subtle grain patterns and warm tones that make it just right for mouldings, doors, windows, and furniture. When properly dried, Cherry moves in predictable ways and can be worked easily, making it a favorite species for craftsmen.
While many people say they love the color of Cherry, most fail to realize that rough-sawn Cherry is much more pink than the deep, rich red color they associate with this species. While Cherry finishes that are in deep browns and reds can provide instant gratification, the natural color change is even more remarkable.
Sunning Cherry can certainly increase its exposure to UV rays as well as oxidation, decreasing the “breaking in” process. When the process is mimicked artificially with stains, however, the wood’s color will still naturally deepen, over time. This can be an especially significant process when it comes to restoration work, in which new wood is manipulated to blend with older pieces.
For J. Gibson McIlvain, Cherry has been one of the species which we’ve sourced for over two centuries! (Yes, you read that correctly: we’ve been in business for over 200 years.) With our own roots near the Ohio Valley, we’ve forged long-time relationships with local mills from which we source the lumber that we sell.
Like the exotic species we import, we consistently inspect Cherry and other domestic species and visit the mills routinely in order to make sure that the quality we expect is still being achieved.