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Thread: Choke Cherry?

  1. Choke Cherry?

    Help! We have a tree here in NH we call choke cherry. It's the one the tent caterpillars love and the berries taste terrible. Research shows the a real Choke cherry is a shrub. These trees can grow to maybe 70 feet tall. The wood looks like cherry. So, what the heck is it? Is it Black Cherry? I can get it cut up for .23 cents a board foot. Is it worth it or is it a junk wood that looks like cherry?

    Thanks,
    Dennis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paradise PA
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    3,092
    it will look good. cut off a branch and see if the wood looks like cherry. if it does, go for it
    14x48 custom 2hp 9gear lathe
    9 inch pre 1940 craftsman lathe
    36 inch 1914 Sydney bandsaw (BEAST)
    Wood in every shelf and nook and cranny,,, seriously too much wood!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Eastern TN
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    Choke Cherry?

    It is black cherry. I had 6 cut down two years ago and milled them into lumber myself using a RipSaw. I now have over 5000 bf of nice cherry stored. All air dried down to about 7-8%. 23 cents is a good price but make sure you hire someone who knows what they are doing or you will have garbage when done.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Putnam County, NY
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    Choke cherry is what you typically buy when you buy cherry lumber. If you can get good boards cut for a low price do it.
    I could cry for the time I've wasted, but thats a waste of time and tears.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by John Shuk View Post
    Choke cherry is what you typically buy when you buy cherry lumber. If you can get good boards cut for a low price do it.
    You are mistaken. Choke Cherry (prunus virginiana) has wood that is similar to Black Cherry (prunus serotina), but the Choke Cherry doesn't grow large enough to be of any commercial value. When you buy cherry lumber, you are buying Black Cherry, not Choke Cherry.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2005
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    International Falls, MN
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    710
    Leo

    You nailed right on the head.

    Prunus serotina is where all of the lumber comes from.

    Quinn

    Forester by day woodworker by night.

  7. It's a black cherry... The fruit is used to flavor soft drinks and the wood is used in mostly all furniture that's wood is "cherry".

    Tried to make jelly out of black cherries.. Didn't set up well.. Perhaps with liquid pectin.. Makes a mean syrup though. And a great mixer with Vodka.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Lafayette, IN
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    Scott's got it--my late grandma used to make some great choke cherry syrup. I sure do miss that...I need to find a way to get to SD during choke cherry season...
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Dearborn View Post
    Research shows the a real Choke cherry is a shrub.
    Around here we have the choke cherry shrubs. However, usually when refering to choke cherry as a woodworking material, choke is a verb. When we see the price of cherry, we choke!
    Last edited by Brian Brown; 10-13-2009 at 8:18 PM. Reason: spelling
    Brian

    Sawdust Formation Engineer
    in charge of Blade Dulling

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Putnam County, NY
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    3,086
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Pashea View Post
    You are mistaken. Choke Cherry (prunus virginiana) has wood that is similar to Black Cherry (prunus serotina), but the Choke Cherry doesn't grow large enough to be of any commercial value. When you buy cherry lumber, you are buying Black Cherry, not Choke Cherry.
    I can only tell you what I know to be the facts in my part of the world.
    I've personally taken down 24" plus choke cherry trees.
    In fact it is somewhat rare to see a large black cherry tree around here.
    I could cry for the time I've wasted, but thats a waste of time and tears.

  11. Thanks

    Thanks guys but I'm still not sure. The berries are inedible, so I can't imagine making anything out of them. As far as I know, cherries are on individual stems, just like in the stores. This tree(Choke Cherry?) has one stem with a cluster of berries on it, almost like a Sumac only smaller.

    Dennis

  12. #12
    This is what the berries look like on a choke cherry shrub that grows naturally in the west.
    XQ9R2443.jpg
    They are about the size of a pea or smaller. They are edible, but not my cup of tea errr... cherry. They are bitter, and require a lot of sugar to taste good.
    Brian

    Sawdust Formation Engineer
    in charge of Blade Dulling

  13. The berry itself is not inedible, but the seed is as it contains a toxin. Basically you take a bunch of berries and steep them in water until you make an infusion. You then drain the berries and keep the liquid, which is then processed and has sugar and whatnot added.

    Your tree [A BLACK CHERRY] looks like this.



    http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Pla...ackCherry.html

  14. #14

    That's It

    Brian,
    You've got it. That's the berries. So I must have choke cherry trees. They are probably 16" in diameter at the butt. What do you think of the wood? Should I spend the money and have it sawed? Is it a hardwood?

    Thanks

    Dennis

  15. At 70' tall I still say it's not a choke cherry, but, just nodding at this point.. Any possibility that you can post a picture of the whole tree and then a closeup of the leaves?

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