Red oak trees, although cultivated elsewhere, grow naturally and almost exclusively in North America.
It grows widely in mixed hardwood forests throughout most of the eastern United States. The red oak is a type of fast growth oak that can reach 20 meters in 10 years. Northern red oak or champion oak are other names of red oak. Red oak can live more than 300 years.
The trees are very tall. Many subspecies grow from north to south, all of which are classified as red oak. Some of these grow is in the high parts of the mountains, while others grow is in low altitudes with different characteristics. Therefore, there are significant differences in red oaks according to the regions where they grow.
Red oak is considered a very stable tree both for domestic use and for export, this tree species are more than white oaks. The Latin name of red oak is Quercus rubra.
What Is Red Oak?
Red oak, more precisely Quercus rubra, is a fast-growing deciduous tree native to eastern North America. It initially has smooth, grayish-brown to reddish-brown bark that eventually becomes rough and fissured. Its branches are strong and typically project at nearly right angles. It can grow up to 25 meters in height, rarely exceeding 30 meters, with an approximate width of 20 meters. In our country, it is prevalent as an ornamental and forest tree representative of the beech family (Fagaceae).
The root system, initially equipped with a taproot, transforms into a heart-shaped root with age and requires deep soil. The winter buds are dark reddish-brown, egg-shaped with a transparent tip, and approximately six millimeters long. Like other oaks, the growth of its leaves is relatively independent of external temperature – the first leaves appear when the day length reaches about 13 hours.
Red oak leaves are stalked, elliptical, 15 to 20 centimeters long, spirally arranged on branches. They typically have serrations and possess 4 to 6 sharp-tipped lobes on both sides, gradually narrowing from a broad base, with clearly prominent veins. The second pair of lobes is always the largest. During shooting, they are initially bright yellow or pink with a densely silky upper part and a thick white felt underside, later becoming smooth and green, and in autumn, their color changes to various shades of red, yellow, and brownish.
Tip: Oak wood is one of the common types of wood for burning in a fireplace.
The most important uses of red oak wood
Due to its beautiful color, properties, design, and veins, oak wood has been highly regarded by carpenters and furniture designers after clean machining.
Red oak is available as saw wood and veneer in various grades and sizes.
This wood is ideal for making furniture and flooring.
This group of wood species with their environmental characteristics plays an important role in many export markets
The main background of use are furniture, flooring, doors, architectural joinery, format and kitchen cabinets. It is also used in some construction applications.
Types of red oak wood:
Below are some common types of red oak wood:
- Quercus velutina.
- Quercus kelloggii.
- Quercus pagoda.
- Quercus coccinea.
- Quercus falcata.
- Quercus palustris.
- Quercus phellos.
Oak exists in different types and color ranges, and this color difference depends not only on the main species of oak, but also on the growing conditions of each tree.
Characteristics of red oak wood
In general, red oak wood is light brown. Red oak wood is generally direct and coarse-grained. The resistance of oak wood has made them more resistant to poisons than other trees in the forest and urban environments.
Red oak can be painted and polished to a very nice surface.
It is less resistant to water because it has an open structure, and the open capillaries of red oak can absorb water to several inches into the wood.
Thicker wood 4/10″ and 4/12″ can be obtained in relatively small quantities from specialist suppliers, but is commonly used in the hardwood industry in sizes from 4/4″ (25.4 mm) to 4/8″ ( 52 mm) is produced. Red oak wood inclines easily with steam and also absorbs glue well.
American red oaks have good strength and this is related to their weight. Red oak wood is hard and heavy, has medium strength, stiffness and high resistance. In addition to being hard, it is also stable when dry. Easily holds polishes and color.
The Appearance of Red Oak Wood
Red oak wood has a beautiful and distinct appearance. The color of this wood is typically a medium to dark brown, and in some cases, it may contain red or yellow hues. These colors depend on the nature of the red oak tree and can be altered to some extent with woodworking efforts and special treatments.
The visual pattern of red oak wood is also quite appealing. It has a reasonable density and often features various patterns of lines and grain, which give it an elegant and pleasing design. As a result, red oak wood is highly suitable for making furniture, cabinets, and decorative items. Due to its unique appearance, it garners a lot of attention in the woodworking and interior decoration industries.
The Grain and Texture of Red Oak Wood
Red oak wood boasts a special and beautiful grain and texture. Its grains are usually soft and have a sword-like shape, appearing alternately or concentrated on the wood’s surface. These grains are often parallel or scattered, lending an eye-catching design to red oak wood.
The texture of red oak wood can vary from a smooth and even surface to a rough one filled with cracks, depending on the processing and equipment used on the wood. Because red oak wood is one of the hardwoods, its durability and strength make it highly suitable for various purposes. It can be used in crafting high-quality furniture, cabinets, and other wooden objects.
Resistance and Decay of Red Oak Wood
Red oak wood is exceptionally resistant to decay and rot due to its strong and durable structure. It naturally contains minerals and chemical compounds that make it resistant to wear and tear caused by environmental factors. In other words, red oak wood typically demonstrates excellent resistance to decay and splitting.
These qualities make red oak wood a suitable material for both indoor and outdoor applications in construction, furniture making, cabinets, windows, and other wooden uses. It’s also a popular choice for crafting tables, parquet flooring, and wooden beds. With proper care and maintenance of adequate moisture levels, red oak wood can maintain its quality for many years.
Disadvantages and problems of red oak wood
The reason oak wood changes color over time is that it is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and oxygen gas. This makes the color of oak wood opaque.
Information about the rate of growth of red oak forests
According to FIA data, the growth rate of American red oak is 2.62 billion cube meters, which is 18% of the total US hardwood inventory. American red oak trees grow 60.6 million cube meters per year, with a total harvest of 31.9 million cube meters per year.
The pure volume after harvesting increases by 28.7 million cube meters every year. Red oak growth rates in the United States is equal or exceed harvest rates in all states except Texas.
The difference between red oak and white oak
Red oak or white oak? which one is better?
- Red oak grows faster than white oak. White oak grows at a medium speed and slowly.
- Red oak has a hardness of approximately 1290. White oak flooring is harder than red oak and the degree of hardness is approximately 1360. White oak is slightly harder and more durable.
- Red oak and white oak are two types of hardwood.
- White oak is more expensive than red oak.
- The main difference between red oak and white oak is that red oak has a pink color that varies from white to light amber, while white oak has a darker gray color that is almost yellowish.
- Another difference between red oak and white oak is that the white oak matures at 75 feet while the red oak matures at 80 feet.
- Red oak leaves are 4 inches narrower, while white oak leaves are 4 to 6 inches wider.
- The main difference between red oak and white oak is that red oak wood has a pink color, which is slightly lighter, while white oak wood has a yellow color, which is darker.
- Also, red oak is harder than white oak, while white oak is harder than maple.
Is oak wood soft or hard?
Oak wood is one of the hardwoods. In terms of scratch resistance and surface resistance, this type of wood is better than woods such as walnut, alder and fir.
Can you use oak wood for outdoor space?
Oak wood has good resistance to water absorption and for this reason, it is used to build ships.