Swamp Chestnut Oak

Swamp Chestnut Oak (Quercus michauxii)
Swamp Chestnut Oak (Quercus michauxii)

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Common Name(s): Swamp Chestnut Oak

Scientific Name: Quercus michauxii

Distribution: Southern and Central United States

Tree Size: 60-80 ft (18-24 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 49 lbs/ft3 (780 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .60, .78

Janka Hardness: 1,230 lbf (5,460 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 13,760 lbf/in2 (94.9 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,753,000 lbf/in2 (12.09 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 7,200 lbf/in2 (49.6 MPa)

Shrinkage:Radial: 5.2%, Tangential: 10.8%, Volumetric: 16.4%, T/R Ratio: 2.1

Color/Appearance: Has a light to medium brown color, though there can be a fair amount of variation in color. Conversely, Red Oak tends to be slightly redder, but is by no means a reliable method of determining the type of Oak.

Grain/Texture: Has medium-to-large pores and a fairly coarse grain.

Rot Resistance: Swamp Chestnut Oak has been rated as being moderately durable, and moderately resistant to decay.

Workability: Easy to glue, and takes stain and finishes very well.

Odor: Has a tell-tale smell that is common to most oaks. Most find it appealing.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, oak has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation, as well as asthma-like symptoms. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Slightly more expensive than Red Oak, White Oak is in good/sustainable supply and is moderately priced. Thicker 8/4 planks, or quartersawn boards are slightly more expensive per board foot.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Cabinetry, furniture, interior trim, flooring, boatbuilding, barrels, and veneer.

Comments: Swamp Chestnut Oak falls into the white oak group, and shares many of the same traits as White Oak (Quercus alba). White Oak, along with its brother Red Oak, are commonly used domestic lumber species. Hard, durable, and moderately priced, White Oak presents an exceptional value to woodworkers—which explains why it is so widely used in cabinet and furniture making.

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