Milling/Drying Cherry Logs

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Forum topic by SkiTique posted 09-26-2016 05:04 PM 3599 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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47 posts in 2198 days

09-26-2016 05:04 PM

Hello Everyone,

My brother called me yesterday to let me know he just cut down two cherry trees on his property that are now waiting for me to pick up. He said he has 4 10’ long logs that are about 2’ diameter. Should I seal the ends and let the logs air dry for a year or two, or have them cut and kiln dried now, or I guess cut then air dry? Pros and Cons of each would be appreciated. I have access to an Amish mill where I can have it cut and dried quickly.

9 replies so far

View Woodchuckswife's profile


154 posts in 2641 days

#1 posted 09-26-2016 05:45 PM

I would get the end of the logs sealed with wood sealer or a good covering of paint, then you can get it sawed when ever you want. after sawing make a level spot to pile the boards. pile with 1” x 1 1/2” sticker boards about 3’ apart right in line with each other cover the top with a tarp and weight down real heavy. If air drying it takes a year per 1” thick boards. If kiln dryed restack and cover the same way if stored out side.
good luck

View pintodeluxe's profile


6518 posts in 4144 days

#2 posted 09-26-2016 05:59 PM

Cherry is especially prone to warping. I would strongly suggest that most of the lumber be milled at 5/4 thickness. 4/4 cherry is often unusable due to warping and twisting if not dried properly.

Seal the ends of the logs and get them milled as soon as possible. Cherry actually dries pretty quickly compared to oak.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View KYSean's profile


119 posts in 4928 days

#3 posted 09-26-2016 07:39 PM

General rule of thumb is for air drying: 1 year for each inch of thickness.


View ClammyBallz's profile


449 posts in 2468 days

#4 posted 09-26-2016 08:53 PM

Seal the log ends now, then get it cut and air dry it.

These drying charts are very helpful. I purchased fresh cut maple in April and air dried it down to 14% by July. Cutting in spring will give you a substantially faster drying time than cutting in fall. If you cut it now, it should be dry by late spring.

View SkiTique's profile


47 posts in 2198 days

#5 posted 09-27-2016 12:41 PM

Thanks for the input, I appreciate the help.

View Robert's profile


4831 posts in 2812 days

#6 posted 09-27-2016 01:50 PM

If you load on trailer——> to the mill no need to seal log.

Seal boards after cut.

I think pinto brings up a good point. I would have them milled 5/4 also.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View SkiTique's profile


47 posts in 2198 days

#7 posted 09-27-2016 03:15 PM

I agree, 5/4 seems like it would be a good idea, to leave me with a little more material and account for warping.

View soob's profile


271 posts in 2540 days

#8 posted 09-28-2016 05:37 PM

Logs don’t really dry. They’ll basically be wet until they rot, crack apart, or are eaten by bugs. Cherry sapwood will degrade fast, and the heartwood isn’t immune to it either. Get it milled ASAP.

View customsawyer's profile


10 posts in 2017 days

#9 posted 10-02-2016 09:22 PM

I would seal the ends ASAP. Cherry is very prone to end checking. If you can get the sawyer to grade saw the logs and leave the pith in a 3×3 or something like that. Any boards sawed that have the pith in them will most likely split on you so don’t try to get wide boards through the middle that contain the pith.

-- In middle Ga. I run a couple of LT70 mills, edgers, Nyle L200 kiln, Pinhero M800 4 sided planer, and lots or rolling stock.

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