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Oak - American Red

American Red Oak: Quercus robur


Distributed throughout Eastern Canada and the United States


Red Oak heartwood is biscuit to pink in colour, the a reddish tinge. The timber is straight grained with a coarse texture. It is held to be less attractive than white Oak due to the shorter rays within the grain. Southern red oak grows more quickly than northern red oak. It is harder, heavier and has a more coarse texture.

Weighs 770 kg/m3; specific gravity .77.


Red oak timber has medium bending strength and stiffness, with high crushing strength. It is a very good material for steam bending.


Red oak dries slowly, it is liable to split, check and honeycomb. The timber needs care when air-drying or kiln drying. There is medium movement in service.


The working properties of Red oak depend on the density of the wood and the growth conditions. Nailing will require pre-boring and gluing properties are variable. Stains and polishes give a good finish.


Red oak heartwood is non-durable and moderately resistant to preservative treatment. The sapwood is permeable.


Red oak is used for flooring, furniture, joinery, it is sliced for veneers. It is unsuitable for exterior work.