American Hardwood Information Center

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White Oak

Quercus spp

DISTRIBUTION
Widespread throughout Eastern U.S. The white oak group comprises many species; of which about eight are commercial.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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. Having longer rays than red oak, white oak has more figure.

WORKING PROPERTIES
It machines well, nails and screws well, although pre-boring is advised. Due to its reaction with iron, galvanized nails are recommended. Its adhesive properties are variable. The wood dries slowly, but stains to a good finish.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
White oak is a hard and heavy wood with a medium-bending and crushing strength, low in stiffness, but very good in steam-bending. It has great wear-resistance.

AVAILABILITY
Readily available, but not as abundant as red oak.

MAIN USES
Furniture, flooring, architectural millwork, moulding, doors, kitchen cabinets, paneling, barrel staves (tight cooperage), and caskets.



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