AbstractItaly is one of the major users of cherry wood (Prunus avium L.), and its cultivation has been increasing since the early nineties, together with studies aimed at improving genotypes, with a selection usually based on growth, stem form, vigor, and tree adaptation. Here, the phenotypic correlations between growth rate and the physical and mechanical properties of wood are investigated in two wild cherry plantations. X-ray microdensitometry was also applied to analyze the age-age correlations of wood density. It was shown that growth rate did not affect wood properties, and density was confirmed to be the trait that best represents the main properties of wood. The absence of relationships between wood density and growth rate was confirmed by densitometric analysis, although an increase of wood density with an increase of ring width was detected for very narrow rings (less than 3 mm wide). The average density at age 7 to 8 was observed to be highly correlated (r > 0.90) to the average density of a 19-year-old tree, allowing reliable estimation of the wood properties of older trees by early investigation of young trees.