White oak is impervious to liquids and has been used extensively for ship timbers, barrels and casks. White oak is the state tree of Connecticut, Illinois, and Maryland.
Where it Grows
Widespread throughout the Eastern U.S. The white oak group comprises many species, of which about eight are commercial. The trees prefer rich well-drained soil, and average height is 60 to 80 feet.
15.1 percent of total U.S. hardwoods commercially available.
The sapwood is light-colored and the heartwood is light to dark brown. White oak is mostly straight-grained with a medium to coarse texture, with longer rays than red oak. White oak, therefore, has more figure.
A hard and heavy wood with medium bending and crushing strength, low in stiffness, but very good in steam bending. Great wear-resistance.
- Specific Gravity: 0.70
- Density: 45 lbs / cu.ft.
- Side hardness: 1360 lbs
- Radial Shrinkage: 4.2%
- Tangential Shrink. 7.2%
- Volumetric Shrink. 12.6%
- Texture: close-pored, finer than red oak
- Grain: straight
- Color: pale tan to light brown
- Appearance: more compact growth rings than red oak
- Stability: good
- Durability: excellent