Where in the Northwest? I am in Eugene, and love cherry. If the tree
has been standing dead for two years, it may have started checking
beyond the point of being useful. The only way to know for sure is to
cut into it. Do use the backhoe to push the tree over, which will pull
up the root ball, this is easier than digging it out after you have cut
it down. Our local cherry doesn't have as much color as the eastern
cherry, being much lighter in color, but it does darken up into a very
nice color. A domestic tree usually has more sap wood, and less heart
wood because of watering and fertilizers, than a wild tree does.
Any cuts should be end sealed immediatly after cutting.
If the trunk is good for lumber, do not push it over w/ the
backhoe--that kind of tension will ruin much if not most of the trunk
wood. Cut it leaving 2' or so above the ground so you can wrap chains
around the stump and easily uproot it w/ the backhoe.