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I would like to make some wood products from wild cherry harvested in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Is there an ideal time to do this with regard to the sap flow in summer vs. winter where it effects the grain appearence? I would also like to take planks of about 4" x 50-60" x 1/4" and bend these into circles to make a frame drum. Can these be soaked first or do they need to be steamed?

What you'll find in the back hills of Virginia is black cherry, which is almost weed like (similar to poplar). I don't think it make a big difference when you cut it down. The only (proper) way to bend wood is to steam it. If you are making a drum, you will need to make a form to wrap it around once steamed and clamp into place. You overlap the seam., trim it later and glue it up. I have also seen where the ends are tapered and overlapped.

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