American Hardwood Information Center

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Red Oak

Quercus spp

DISTRIBUTION
Widespread throughout Eastern U.S. Oaks are, by far, the most abundant species group growing in the Eastern hardwood forests. Red oaks grow more abundantly than white oaks. The red oak group comprises many species, of which about eight are commercial.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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.

WORKING PROPERTIES
It machines well. Pre-boring is recommended for nailing and screwing. It can be stained to a golden finish, with a wide range of finish tones.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
Red oak is hard and heavy, with medium-bending strength and stiffness and high-crushing strength.

AVAILABILITY
Abundant. It is the most widely used species.

MAIN USES
Furniture, flooring, architectural millwork and moulding, doors, kitchen cabinets, paneling, and caskets.



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