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Red Oak


      Red Oak is a timeless American classic used in furniture, flooring, cabinetry, joinery and architectural mill work. Fast-grown Red Oak, with wide rings, is stronger and heavier than slow-grown Red Oak. Red Oak is also used in railroad ties, fence posts, veneer, furniture, cabinets, paneling, flooring, caskets, and pulpwood. Widespread throughout Eastern U.S. Oaks are, 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. 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.

Common Uses

  • Cabinetry, furniture, interior trim, flooring, and veneer.

Technical Specifications

  • Common Name(s): Red Oak

  • Scientific Name: Quercus rubra

  • Distribution: Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada

  • Tree Size: 80-115 ft (25-35 m) tall, 3-6 ft (1-2 m) trunk diameter

  • Average Dried Weight: 44 lbs/ft3 (700 kg/m3)

  • Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .56, .70

  • Janka Hardness: 1,220 lbf (5,430 N)

  • Modulus of Rupture: 14,380 lbf/in2 (99.2 MPa)

  • Elastic Modulus: 1,761,000 lbf/in2 (12.14 GPa)

  • Crushing Strength: 6,780 lbf/in2 (46.8 MPa)

  • Shrinkage: Radial: 4.0%, Tangential: 8.6%, Volumetric: 13.7%, T/R Ratio: 2.2

*Source: The Wood Database;

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