Red Oak

Arguably the most popular hardwood in the United States, Red Oak is a classically handsome, strong wood. And while it’s only a medium-sized deciduous tree, it happens to be the tallest and most rapidly growing of the Oaks found in North America, flourishing in great abundance from Novia Scotia to Georgia, as far west as the Great Lakes and Louisiana.

The result is a near endless supply of moderately priced wood — a great value to woodworkers, and reason Red Oak is found in so many American homes. Even many vinyl/imitation wood surfaces are printed to look like Red Oak. It’s that popular. And possibly why it’s sometimes called “Champion Oak.”

It’s also a great looking wood. Ranging from a reddish tan to pink color, the paler sapwood of Red Oak isn’t always clearly demarcated, creating a more uniform appearance. The grain is mostly straight with a coarse uneven texture. And when it’s quartersawn, Red Oak often displays a prominent ray fleck pattern.

Frankly, there are almost too many reasons to love Red Oak. Especially for wood veneer, architectural plywood, furniture, flooring, doors, cabinetry, even caskets.

Species Distribution:

North America
Southeastern Canada
Eastern United States
Central United States

Common / Alternative Names:

Red Oak
Northern Red Oak
Champion Oak

Janka Hardness:

1,220 lbf

Sustainability Status:

CITES Appendices: Not listed
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Listed as a species of least concern.

Related Species:

Black Oak (Quercus velutina)
Bog Oak (Quercus spp.)
Brown Oak (Quercus spp.)
Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii)
Cherrybark Oak (Quercus pagoda)
Chestnut Oak (Quercus prinus)
English Oak (Quercus robur)
Holm Oak (Quercus ilex)
Japanese Oak (Quercus mongolica)
Laurel Oak (Quercus laurifolia)
Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)
Overcup Oak (Quercus lyrata)
Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
Post Oak (Quercus stellata)
Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)
Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea)
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii)
Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata)
Swamp Chestnut Oak (Quercus michauxii)
Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)
Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris)
Water Oak (Quercus nigra)
White Oak (Quercus alba)
Willow Oak (Quercus phellos)

See It In Use