Red Oak has a light brown heartwood color, with a reddish tint. Due to its basically light coloration, it is not always that easy to distinguish its sap from its heart. Like its many cousins, quartersawn examples display varying amounts of its renowned “ray fleck” patterns. Grains are typically straight, but with a coarse texture and large, open pores. The wood works, finishes and glues well. Its impressive strength, hardness and moderate price have made it a popular choice with furniture builders and cabinet makers.
Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Cabinetry, furniture, interior trim, flooring, veneer, utility, handles and interior utility applications.
Comments: The Northern Red Oak trees’ heights and trunk diameters can vary greatly, with forest-grown trees known to reach heights well in excess of 100 feet, and trunk over 6 ft in diameter. Conversely, open-grown trees spread out considerably wider — making them a natural choice for many street and park shades trees.
The wood is an historically-important wood in the US, utilized in a variety of interior applications. The wood has become synonymous with house interiors, and vinyls / imitation wood substitutes are often produced to appear as Red Oak.
High shrinkage rates equate with poor dimensional stability, thus quartersawing is recommended.