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Common Alabama Urban Wood Species and their Benefits: Red Oak

Common Alabama Urban Wood Species and their Benefits: Red Oak - Alabama Sawyer

August 01, 2022

Also known as the champion oak, red oak trees can grow 90ft tall and 3ft in diameter. Not only is red oak one of the fastest-growing oak trees, but it also transplants without difficulty, unlike other species.

Natural Red Oak with Oiled Finish

You can recognize red oak wood by its light to medium brown heartwood with a reddish cast. The sapwood is paler, while quarter sawn has ray fleck patterns. Red elm has a straight grain and coarse or uneven texture. Like other oak wood, this one responds well to steam-bending, and it stains, glues, and finishes quite well.

The main benefits of red oak are:

  • Attractive wood grain
  • Resistant to wear and tear
  • Good water resistance
  • Not as likely to warp with sun exposure as other species

Since its heavy, stiff, and hard with high shock resistance, red oak is a popular interior design material. It is primarily used for flooring but also interior joinery, decorative veneers, crates, boxes, wall paneling, cabinetry, and other pieces of furniture. 

Red oak fun facts:

  • Red oak is named after its fall color and also due to red leaf veins
  • Red oak is the most popular hardwood in the United States
  • Red oak may live up to 400-450 years