Brown Oak is technically not a distinct species of oak, but rather refers to oak (almost always English Oak or another European species) that has been infected with a fungus. This fungus (Fistulina hepatica) has the effect of turning the wood a deep brown color. Once the wood has been cut and dried, the fungus dies, leaving a rich golden brown lumber.

Brown Oak is obviously not as common as regular oak, and the demand seems to be elevated, so prices are likely to be high for what could be considered a “domestic” hardwood for those in Europe—with prices going even higher for imported Brown Oak in the United States. Nonetheless, many people are willing to pay a premium for the rich, aged-look of Brown Oak.

A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the wood sample, veneer, and turned photo of this wood species.


Brown Oak (sanded)

Brown Oak (sanded)


Brown Oak (sealed)

Brown Oak (sealed)


Brown Oak (endgrain)

Brown Oak (endgrain)


Brown Oak (endgrain 10x)

Brown Oak (endgrain 10x)


Brown Oak (turned)

Brown Oak (turned)


Brown Oak (70" x 8.3")

Brown Oak (70″ x 8.3″)

 


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  • Antony Croft

    there are two main forms of brown rot in oaks, and at least two other forms one very rare the other localy common. Fistulina hepatica is the desired one, the one foresters know to be the true brown oak, as fistulina hepatica feeds mainly off the acids or more specificaly vinegars and actualy alters the wood very little till very advanced decay. Laetiporus suphureus is the more difficult to work version of brown oak, more stripey in colour and tends to cause a lot of medullary splitting on drying as the fungus uses this pathway for colonisation strategies. the turned item here is most likely this latter fungus also known as the sulphur polypore or chicken of the woods. the other two forms of brown rot in oak are daedalea quercina a common deadwood consumer, and Piptoporus quercinus the oak poly pore, a very very rare beast. i can supply images for this page of all described if desired.