Oak wood has two types: Red Oak and White Oak. Oak tree grows widely over the Eastern United States.
Oak wood has a white to light brown sapwood, while the heartwood color varies from light brown to dark brown. Oak wood has a uniform texture and straight grains. The wood is heavy, stiff, strong and durable. The wood from fast-growing trees with the larger trunk are usually heavier and more durable than that from slow-growing trees.
Oak wood is the most important wood with leading commercial value in the South and East area of America.
American Oak lumber machines, nails, screws well, although predrilling is necessary in nailing and screwing. Because the wood has reaction to iron, zinc-plated nails should be used. Oak wood can sand and take stain to become good products. The wood dries slowly so great care should be taken to avoid splitting. Because of its large shrinkage, Oak wood is susceptible to distortion when drying.
Oak wood is hard and heavy, has an average tortional, compressive strength and good characteristics for steam-bending. Southern White Oak tree grows faster with wide growth rings, usually stiffer and heavier.
The heartwood is resistant to decay. It is also extremely resistant to preservative treatment, but the sapwood is moderately resistant.
Oak lumber is used for furniture, flooring, carving, interior trims, doors, kitchen cabinets, crossties, barrels, coffins and jewelry boxes.