AKA: Appalachian oak, American white oak, chestnut oak, swamp chestnut oak
What: Hardwood tree that reaches 80-100’ tall
Where: Traditionally the best growth areas are the Northern Appalachian Mountains. Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia all have shallow, thin soil with no minerals which is a necessity for quality white oak trees. Old growth white oak is scarce, with many logs coming from private property
Properties: White oak is harder than red oak, and only slightly less hard than maple (Janka 1360). Has a natural resistance to decay and is called watertight – hence its use in wine and liquor barrels. The tight grain material (particularly rift sawn) is highly sought after for architectural applications. The heartwood ranges from pale yellow brown to a gray brown. Sapwood is often close to white
Workability: Care must be taken in air and kiln drying. Slow grown lumber is easier to work with than faster growth
Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, millwork, flooring, railroad ties, mine timbers, fence posts, pallets, fuel, ship and boat building, staves for barrels and casks