The Latin name for oak, Quercus, means “a fine tree.” The oaks have been a mainstay in America’s industrial transformation: railroad ties, wheels, plows, looms, barrels and, of course, furniture and floors.
Where It Grows
Widespread throughout Eastern U.S. The oaks are by far the most abundant species group growing in the Eastern hardwood forests. Red oaks grow more abundantly than the white oaks. Red Oaks comprise about 36.6 percent of total U.S. hardwoods commercially available. White oaks make up 15.1 percent of total U.S. hardwoods commercially available. The both oak groups comprises many species. Average tree height is 60 to 80 feet.
Furniture, flooring, architectural millwork and mouldings, doors, kitchen cabinets, paneling and caskets. It is the most widely used American hardwood species.
The sapwood of red oak is white to light brown and the heartwood is a pinkish reddish brown. The heartwood of the white oak group is more white or a light grey brown. The red oak wood is similar in general appearance to white oak, but with a slightly less pronounced figure due to the smaller rays. The larger, wider, radially oriented rays in white oak produce the unique broad fleck patterns in traditional Mission Style pieces when the white oak log is “quarter sawn.” Oak wood is mostly straight-grained, with a coarse texture.
Oak machines well, nailing and screwing are good although pre-boring is recommended, and it can be stained to a good finish. It can be stained with a wide range of finish tones. It dries slowly.
The wood is hard and heavy, with medium bending strength and stiffness and high crushing strength. It is very good for steam bending. Great wear-resistance.