|Common Name(s): Water Oak
Scientific Name: Quercus nigra
Distribution: Eastern United States
Tree Size: 50-80 ft (15-24 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 45 lbs/ft3 (725 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .56, .73
Janka Hardness: 1,190 lbf (5,290 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 16,620 lbf/in2 (114.6 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 2,034,000 lbf/in2 (14.02 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 6,770 lbf/in2 (46.7 MPa)
Shrinkage:Radial: 4.4%, Tangential: 9.8%, Volumetric: 16.1%, T/R Ratio: 2.2
Color/Appearance: Has a light to medium reddish-brown color, though there can be a fair amount of variation in color. Conversely, White Oak tends to be slightly more olive-colored, 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.
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 less expensive than White Oak, Red 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, and veneer.
Comments: Water Oak falls into the red oak group, and shares many of the same traits as Red Oak (Quercus rubra). Red Oak, along with its brother White Oak, are commonly used domestic lumber species. Hard, strong, and moderately priced, Red Oak presents an exceptional value to woodworkers—which explains why it is so widely used in cabinet and furniture making.
- Black Oak (Quercus velutina)
- Bog Oak
- Brown Oak
- 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)
- Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
- 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)
- White Oak (Quercus alba)
- Willow Oak (Quercus phellos)