How to Dry Cherry Lumber


Before cherry lumber can be cut into pieces and be used for building, the lumber must be dried. Moist lumber once dried will shrink up to 35 percent from its original size. The best method for drying lumber, also called seasoning, is to air-dry it in large stacks. The process itself is simple, but it is time-consuming. For large planks of wood, it is recommended that two people work on the stacking process to reduce the amount of lifting stress on the body.

Things You'll Need

  • 10 cinder blocks
  • Measuring tape
  • Wooden spacers, 3/4 inches thick
  • Aluminum sheet metal
  • Place five cinder blocks evenly spaced in a designated area for the cherry lumber to dry in. Measure the spacing using the measuring tape. The cinder blocks should not be spaced more than four feet apart. Keep the lumber in an area that does not have humidity in excess of 20 percent. The cinder blocks will keep the lumber from getting wet on the ground. Keep the drying area free of vegetation.

  • Stack one piece of cherry lumber across the five cinder blocks if the plank is 16 feet long, the longest standard size. Use fewer cinder blocks for shorter pieces of wood. Place five wooden spacers, also called stickers, on top the of the cherry lumber plank. Align the wooden spacers with the cinder blocks to keep the support even throughout the stacking process.

  • Stack the cherry lumber continuously to about eight feet high using the wooden spacers in between each plank. The spacers keep an opening in between each plank allowing air circulation. The circulating air causes the wood to dry at a faster pace.

  • Place five spacers on top of the last lumber plank. Cover the top plank with aluminum sheet metal to prevent the lumber from getting wet or burning in the sun.

  • Place five cinder blocks on top of the aluminum roof. This will keep pressure on the wood so that it does not warp and it will keep the aluminum roof from blowing off of the stack.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stack multiple piles of cherry lumber two feet from each other to allow for better air circulation.
  • Keep the piled lumber three feet away from obstacles and vegetation.
  • Lift the planks with the help of a partner to prevent injury depending on the size of the lumber planks.

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  • Photo Credit lumber image by jimcox40 from
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