The Latin name for oak, Quercus, means “a fine tree.” The oaks have been key in America’s industrial transformation: railroad ties, wheels, plows, looms, barrels and, of course, furniture and floors. The oak is the state tree of New Jersey.
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. The red oak group comprises many species, of which about eight are commercial. Average tree height is 60 to 80 feet.
36.6 percent of total U.S. hardwoods commercially available.
The sapwood of red oak is white to light brown and the heartwood is a pinkish reddish brown. The wood is similar in general appearance to white oak, but with a slightly less pronounced figure due to the smaller rays. The wood is mostly straight-grained, with a coarse texture.
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.
- Specific Gravity: 0.64
- Density: 43 lbs / cu.ft.
- Side hardness: 1290 lbs
- Radial Shrinkage: 4%
- Tangential Shrinkage: 8%
- Volumetric Shrinkage 13%
- Texture: medium, open-pore, can be coarser than white oak when surfaced-Northern Red Oak is less course than faster-growing Appalachian Red Oak.
- Grain: straight, open
- Color: salmon pink
- Appearance: prominent grain stripe, medulary rays are dark red in quartersawn red oak. Growth rings in Northern Red Oak are tighter (shorter growing season = slower growth) than in Appalachian Red Oaks.
- Stability: good
- Durability: moderate