Widespread throughout Eastern U.S. Oak is 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.
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. The term “quarter sawn” comes from the fact that the log is first quartered lengthwise, resulting in wedges with a right angle ending at approximately the center of the original log. Each quarter is then cut separately by tipping it up on its point and sawing boards successively along the axis. That results in boards with the annual rings mostly perpendicular to the faces. Quarter sawing yields boards with straight striped grain lines, greater stability than flat-sawn wood, and a distinctive ray and fleck figure.
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.
Red oak is hard and heavy, with medium-bending strength and stiffness and high-crushing strength.
Abundant. It is the most widely used species.
Furniture, flooring, architectural millwork and molding, doors, kitchen cabinets, paneling, and caskets.