Common Name: White Oak

Scientific Name: Quercusalba

Origin: Eastern part of the United States

Tree Size:65-85 ft (20-25 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 47 lbs/ft3 (755 kg/m3)

)

Color & Appearance:

White Oak heartwood is light to medium brown, often with an olive hue. Usually white to light brown, the sapwood is not always clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Quartersawn sections show noticeable ray-fleck patterns. In comparison, Red Oak is usually slightly redder, but color is not a reliable method of defining oak types.

Grain & Texture:

White Oak grain is straight with a rough, uneven surface.

Endgrain:

White Oak is ring-porous with 2-4 rows of large, completely isolated earlywood pores and abundant small to tiny latewood pores in a radial organization; it is tyloses abundant with distinct growth rings. The rays are big and observable without use of lens; White Oak is apotracheal parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates (with short lines between rays).

Rot Resistance

: White Oak is very durable and often used in boat building or tight cooperage applications.

Workability:

White Oak shows good results with both hand and machine tools. It has reasonably high shrinkage values that can result in average dimensional stability, especially in the form of flatsawn boards. White Oak can react with iron, particularly when it is wet, causing staining or discoloration. It responds well to steam-bending, and it stains, glues, and finishes well.

Odor:

White Oak has a peculiar odor common to most oaks. Most people find the smell appealing

Allergies & Toxicity:

Although severe reactions are very uncommon, oak in general is reported to be a sensitizer. Most common reactions include simple eye and skin irritations or asthma-like symptoms.

Pricing & Availability:

White Oak is abundantly available in a large range of widths and thicknesses in the forms of flatsawn or quartersawn lumber. It is often a little more expensive than Red Oak. Prices for White Oak are in the middle range for a domestic hardwood. Thicker planks or quartersawn boards will be slightly more expensive.

Sustainability:

This wood species is not in the CITES Appendices or listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses:

White Oak is often used for furniture, cabinetry, interior trims, boat building, flooring, barrels, or for veneer.

Remarks:

White Oak is the official state tree of Illinois, Maryland, and Connecticut. Connecticut’s state quarter bears an image with inscription of a famed White Oak tree, The Charter Oak. White Oak is very strong, fine-looking, rot-resistant, easy to work, and quite economical as a wood. It represents an incomparable value to woodworkers, so it’s no wonder that White Oak is widely used in making cabinets and furniture.

Size 1-200 Bft 201-300 Bft 301-500 Bft 501+ Bft
4/4  5.25  4.25 3.50  3.15
5/4 6.05   5.05 4.30   3.80
6/4  6.55  5.55 4.80   4.30
8/4  7.25  6.25 5.50   5.00