The lumber-furnishing cherry tree of this country is the wild black cherry, a small to medium-sized tree scattered through many of the broad-leaved woods of the western slope of the Alleghenies, but found from Maine to Florida and west to Texas.
The wood is heavy, hard, strong, of fine texture; sapwood yellowish-white, heartwood reddish to brown. It shrinks considerably, but works and stands well, takes a good polish and is much esteemed for its beauty. Used principally for fine interior finish, cabinet work and furniture; often stained to imitate mahogany. It cannot be obtained in wide boards, and, the grain being fine, it is most suitable for work that is much cut up or moulded.
Chestnut. - A medium-sized tree very common in the Alleghe-nies and in some portions of New England. The wood is light, moderately soft, stiff, not strong and of a coarse texture, resembling ash ; the sapwood light, the heartwood darker brown. It shrinks and checks considerably in drying, but works easily, stands well and is very durable. Used locally for interior finishing and also for railway ties, sleepers and heavy construction.
Elm. - A medium to large-size tree found scattered in all the broad-leaved forests of this country, and sometimes quite abundant. The wood is heavy, hard, strong and very tough, moderately durable in contact with the soil; commonly cross grained, difficult to split and shape, warps and checks considerably in drying, but stands well if properly handled and is capable of a high polish. The heartwood is of a brown color with shades of gray and red ; texture coarse to fine. Elm has only been used to a slight extent in buildings, but its use for interior finish is gaining ; much of the wood has a beautifully figured grain, and it is used in the manufacture of all kinds of furniture. The wood appears to be well adapted to staining where colored effects are desired.
35- Gum. - There are two varieties of this wood, the "sour" gum and the "sweet" or red gum. The latter is the variety most commonly seen in furniture and buildings. The sweet gum is a large-sized tree, very abundant in the South. The wood is rather heavy and soft, quite stiff and strong, tough, commonly cross grained but of fine texture ; the heartwo6d is reddish brown in color. The wood shrinks and warps considerably, and has a bad reputation in this respect, but by proper handling can be made to stay in place as well as other woods. It is rather a handsome wood and is much used in the manufacture of mantels, cabinet work and furniture.
Maple. - There are several varieties of maple in the United States, but most of the maple in the market comes from the sugar maple (hard maple, rock maple), which is most abundant in Minnesota and in the region of the Great Lakes.
The wood is heavy, hard, strong, stiff and tough, of fine texture and frequently with a wavy or "curly" grain ; creamy white in color, with shades of light brown in the heart.
It shrinks moderately, seasons, works and stands well, wears smoothly and takes a fine grain. The curly, or bird's-eye maple, is one of the handsomest of our hard woods, and at the present time is extensively used for fine interior finishing; it seems to be particularly appropriate for the finish of chambers, and some of the handsomest chamber sets are made of maple. The curly maple has to be selected and costs more than the plain maple.