Worldwide, the Oaks (Quercus spp.) consist of 275 to 500 species that can be separated into three groups based on their microanatomy: the Live or Evergreen Oak group, the Red Oak group (Erythrobalanus), and the White Oak group (Leucobalanus). Species within each group look alike microscopically. The word Quercus is the classical Latin name of oaks.
Generally the sapwood of oak is white to very light brown, while the heartwood is light to dark brown in the white oak group and reddish brown in the red oak group.
Red and White Oak are widely distributed throughout the United States.
All Oaks machine well, nails and screws very well although pre-boring is advised. Its adhesive properties are varied, very good to moderate. Because of the tannon acid within galvanized or stainless steel fasteners are recommended.
Both Red and White Oaks have coarse texture, hard, heavy, with medium bending, and stiffness, and crushing strength, but very good in steam bending. Great wear resistance. Fast grown oak, with wide rings, are stronger and heavier than slow-grown oak.
Generally Red Oak are only slightly resistant to heartwood decay. White oaks are very resistance to heartwood decay.
Furniture, flooring, millwork, doors, kitchen cabinets, paneling, caskets.
White Oak is impervious to liquids because of its closed pore cellular structure and has been used extensively for ship building, barrels, casks.