I know there are different uses for red oak
and white oak. I've got several pin oaks around
my house I'll be taking down soon, and am
thinking about using or selling them
rather than converting them into firewood.
The one reference work I found any
information in, said pin oak is neither
a red oak nor a white oak, but rather
a "pink oak", something which none
of the woodworking books seem to have
Is pin oak wood useful for anything other
than firewood, since it's neither flesh nor
well, ask ten people and you will more than likely get 10 answers to
my Sawyer and i were discussing pin oak last fall, and he told me that
the stuff doesn't dry real well, and is prone to splitting and bad
warpage during drying.
however, i know the stuff is used for flooring and structural beams in
i know the grain is about the same as RO, and is about as strong, (im
lazy and don't want to take the time to DAGS about the hardness of it
It's a red oak. Pink oak? Oh, well.
There's not a whole lot out there, because the wood isn't particularly useful
commercially. Great landscaping tree. I put one in about 14 years ago, and it's
amazingly large now, with growth upwards of 2' per year (put another in some 6
months later, about 60' away, and it hasn't grown much more than 3' in the
nearly 14 years...go figure).
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf."
Well so long as you aren't trying to eat it, why should this be a
Oaks are big trees, and it's not generally worth sawing the small
ones. Here in the UK we only have pin oaks as unusual self-seedings or
as rare display species. The butts are small and there may be branches
low down, as they haven't been properly managed for timber. If you can
fell a decent butt out of it, then it's probably worth sawing - but
you might not get a useful butt of reasonable length or diameter.
Sawing involves bringing a butt and a saw together. For walnuts and
good Lebanon cedars, it's worth taking a bandsaw to one butt. For less
valuable timbers, then it may not be so, unless you have a number of
them. OTOH, if the butts are small, then you might be able to drag
them in your own pickup to where a bandsaw is already set up. For
much Wood-mizer work, saw setup time costs as much as sawing a butt.
You could also look at a chainsaw mill, which is easier to move and
quick to set up, but wastes more timber.
Turners can use almost anything, even branches, and even while still
"Red oak" and "white oak" are vague terms. A botanist (particularly
at this time of year) might regard the red oaks as just the Q. rubra
with the bright red Fall leaf colours. The name "red" oak comes from
the leaf colour, not the timber. A timberyard would look for tyloses
to categorise them (most oaks are blocked, which groups them with the
white oaks). From the species name alone, the American Q. alba is the
only one really called a "white" oak, yet the two English oaks are
generally thought of as interchangeable (they're a bit darker and
From a timber point of view, there's no "pink" oak. It's either
blocked or unblocked, and there's no halfway house. Nor is the timber
in any way "red, white or pink coloured"
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
+ + +
Pin oak will usually be Quercus palustris
but this is not guaranteed.
It is a red oak (some people like red oak wood), but with a poor reputation.
Red oak and white oak are distinct terms: these are names for trees
belonging to different subgenera.
AFAIK red oaks and white oaks are called that because of the color of the
wood (these names are pretty old, likely pre-18th century) . There is a
popular myth that white oak wood can be distinguished by having tyloses
while red oak wood has none. That definitely is wrong. The typical white oak
will have tyloses (making it suitable for wine barrels) and the typical red
oak won't. But this won't go for all species in these groups.
I sawed several large Pin Oaks a number of years ago. I wouldn't do it
again. The material dried OK, but frankly it was incredibly boring wood,
poor in color, poor in grain characteristics, with tons of tiny "pin"
knots. I used it for some jigs, and shop crap, but I felt it was crummy
How does it hold up structurally? If it's not good for furniture, how'd it
be for, oh, beams or rafters or other hidden-by-paint-or-drywall items? I
would hate to cut it up, use it, and then have the structure come down
in a couple of years.
(Then, again, maybe I _do_ need more firewood.)
I have to agree with Rick. My parents had a 35-year-old pin oak cut down in
their yard a couple of years ago. I was eager to get the lumber from it, as
Dad planted it as a 5-foot-tall sapling in 1966 and I thought it'd be nice
to make some furniture from it. I got a sawyer lined up, had the tree
hauled out to his place, cut it into 2" slabs, etc. My first impression was
that the color was awful - a nauseating mix of mostly yellow with some pink.
Almost as quickly, I noticed that the wood stank. I don't mean it smelled
like green wood, I mean it smelled like a landfill, and just as intense.
I took one of the slabs home so I could dry it and observe the changes in
color and odor. Neither improved, after air drying for 6 months. I threw
that slab into a dumpster, and let the sawyer have the rest. Very
disappointing and in my case, sad.
To my knowledge, they are Red Oak. look at tehe leaf. If the points
or ends are rounded, they are usually white oaks. If they are sharp,
they are usually red oaks. I know there are exceptions but I'll let
someone with more time than I to handle that.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.