AKA: Northern red oak, Spanish oak, swamp oak, pin oak, southern red oak
What: Hardwood with an average tree height of 60-80 feet. Can grow at a rate of 8-12” per year.
Where: Is the most plentiful species in the US, but can be found world wide as far away as Iran. A distinction is made between red oak grown in Northern versus Southern United States with Northern Red oak being more comparable to white oak.
Properties: Red oak dries very slowly, so care must be taken. Is a dense hard wood, only slightly softer than ash and beech (Janka 1290). Has open pores, unlike white oak.
Workability: Can have a moderate dulling effect on cutting blades. Finishes well, but because of open pores, wood should be filled prior to staining.
Uses: Cabinetry, millwork, furniture, flooring, boxes, crates, caskets, timbers, handles, pallets, boats, and woodenware. Is also an excellent source of firewood. Bark from the tree is rich in tannin, which is used to tan leather.