Gean vs Cherry

Our new design of dining chairs won't be much use without a dining table to go with them.

We've recently completed work on this refectory style table, made with the same local cherry timber as the chairs. The table was made to compliment some of the design elements of the dowser chair.

Nearly all cherry wood furniture is made with imported American Cherry (Prunus Serotina). Our own native cherry (Prunus Avium) is traditionally known as Gean.

Most local Geans are too small to convert but the timber we used for this project came from an unusually large tree that grew just a few steps from our client's front door.

The tree had significant rot down at ground level and presented a real danger to the house. The tree was carefully felled by Roy Cowie Tree Services - the main trunk was around a metre in diameter and featured a huge burr on one side. To say we were looking forward to getting it onto the sawmill would be something of an understatement!

In the event the main trunk was a disappointment - it was rotten right through. The large burr was mostly ingrown bark. However, above the main trunk, the tree split into four large limbs and this timber was far better. We ended up with a large quantity of beautiful cherry boards. Freshly cut cherry has a lovely smell and we remember the air was full of the sweet spicy scent.

Compared with American Cherry which generally has a deep orange colour, these boards of Gean were a more subtle golden colour with beautiful rippling grain patterns.

The wood was air dried for two years, kilned for five weeks and made into a suite of dining room furniture for our very patient clients.

This has been such a rewarding project – we loved seeing the process right through - from the living tree to a handsome table and chairs which will be at the centre of family life for many decades to come.