Quercus spp.

 

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Family: Fagaceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oak

 

 

 

Worldwide, the oaks (Quercus spp.) consist of 275 to 500 species that can be separated into three groups based on their microanatomy: the live or evergreen oak group, the red oak group (Erythrobalanus), and the white oak group (Leucobalanus). Species within each group look alike microscopically. The word quercus is the classical Latin name of oaks, said to be derived from Celtic fine and tree.

The commercial North American species are as follows:

Red Oak Group (Erythrobalanus)

Quercus coccinea-bastard oak, black oak, buck oak, red oak, scarlet oak, Spanish oak, spotted oak

Quercus falcata-American red oak, bottomland red oak, cherrybark oak, Elliott oak, red oak, Spanish oak, southern red oak, swamp red oak, swamp spanish oak, turkeyfoot oak, water oak

Quercus kelloggii-black oak, California black oak, Kellogg oak, mountain black oak

Quercus laurifolia-Darlington oak, diamond-leaf oak, laurel oak, laurel-leaf oak, swamp laurel oak, water oak, obtusa oak

Quercus nigra-American red oak, blackjack, pin oak, possum oak, punk oak, red oak, spotted oak, water oak

Quercus nuttallii-nuttall oak, pin oak, red oak, red river oak, striped oak

Quercus palustris-pin oak, red oak, Spanish oak, Spanish swamp oak, Spanish water oak, swamp oak, swamp Spanish oak, water oak

Quercus phellos-black oak, laurel oak, peach oak, pin oak, red oak, swamp willow oak, water oak, willow oak, willow swamp oak

Quercus rubra-American red oak, black oak, buck oak, Canadian red oak, common red oak, gray oak, eastern red oak, leopard oak, Maine red oak, mountain red oak, northern red oak, red oak, Spanish oak, spotted oak, southern red oak, swamp red oak, water oak, West Virginia soft red oak

Quercus shumardii-American red oak, Schneck oak, Schneck red oak, shumard oak, Shumard red oak, southern red oak, spotted bark, spotted oak, swamp red oak, Texas oak, Texas red oak

Quercus velutina-American red oak, blackjack, black oak, dyer oak, jack oak, quercitron, quercitron oak, redbush, red oak, smoothbark oak, spotted oak, tanbark oak, yellowbark, yellow oak, yellowbark oak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Oak Group (Leucobalanus)

Quercus alba-American white oak, Arizona oak, Arizona white oak, forked-leaf white oak, Louisiana white oak, mantua oak, ridge white oak, stave oak, true white oak, West Virginia soft white oak, white oak

Quercus bicolor-blue oak, cherry oak, curly swamp oak, swamp oak, swamp white oak, white oak

Quercus garryana-Brewer oak, Garry oak, Oregon oak, Oregon white oak, Pacific post oak, Pacific white oak, post oak, prairie oak, shin oak, western oak, western white oak, white oak

Quercus lyrata-American white oak, overcup oak, swamp post oak, swamp white oak, water white oak

Quercus macrocarpa-blue oak, bur oak, burr oak, mossycup oak, mossy-overcup oak, overcup oak, scrub oak, white oak, white mossycup oak, white overcup oak

Quercus michauxii-American white oak, basket oak, cow oak, swamp oak, swamp chestnut oak

Quercus muehlenbergii-chestnut oak, chinkapin oak, chinquapin oak, dwarf chestnut oak, dwarf chinkapin, pin oak, rock oak, rock chestnut oak, running white oak, scrub oak, shrub oak, white oak, yellow oak, yellow chestnut oak

Quercus prinus-American white oak, basket oak, chestnut oak, chestnut rock oak, chestnut swamp oak, cow oak, mountain oak, rock oak, rock chestnut, rock chestnut oak, swamp oak, tanbark oak, white oak, white chestnut oak

Quercus stellata-American post oak, barren white oak, bastard oak, bastard white oak, box oak, box white oak, brash oak, Delta post oak, Durand oak, iron oak, pin oak post oak, ridge oak, rough oak, rough white oak, southern oak, turkey oak, white box oak, white oak

Live Oak Group

Quercus virginiana-dwarf live oak, encino, live oak, rolfs oak, scrub live oak,
Virginia live oak, Virginia oak

Distribution

Widely distributed throughout the United States.

The Tree

Oaks can reach a height of 125 ft (38 m), with large diameters.

The Wood

General

The sapwood of oak is white to very light brown, while the heartwood is light to dark brown in the white oak group and reddish brown in the red oak group. Oak wood has a course texture; it is heavy, straight-grained, hard, tough, very stiff, and strong. Fast-grown oak, with wide rings, is stronger and heavier than slow-grown oak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

gravity

MOE

X106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

Red Oak Group

Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)

Green

0.60

1.48

10,400

4,090

830

15.0

1,200

1,410

Dry

0.67

1.91

17,400

8,330

1,120

20.5

1,400

1,890

Quercus falcata (southern red oak)

Green

0.71

1.14

6,900

3,030

550

8.0

860

930

Dry

0.52

1.49

10,900

6,090

870

9.4

1,060

1,390

Quercus falcata var. pagodifolia (cherrybark oak)

Green

0.61

1.79

10,800

4,620

760

14.7

1,240

1,320

Dry

0.68

2.28

18,100

8,740

1,250

18.3

1,480

2,000

Quercus laurifolia (laurel oak)

Green

0.56

1.39

7,900

3,170

570

11.2

1,000

1,180

Dry

0.63

1.69

12,600

6,980

1,060

11.8

1,210

1,830

Quercus nigra (water oak)

Green

0.56

1.55

8,900

3,740

620

11.1

1,010

1,180

Dry

0.63

2.02

15,400

6,770

1,020

11.8

1,210

2,020

Quercus palustris (pin oak)

Green

0.58

1.32

8,300

3,680

720

14.0

1,070

1,290

Dry

0.63

1.73

14,000

6,820

1,020

14,800

1,510

2,080

Quercus phellos (willow oak)

Green

0.56

1.29

7,400

3,000

610

8.8

980

1,180

Dry

0.69

1.90

14,500

7,040

1,130

14.6

1,460

1,650

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Green

0.56

1.35

8,300

3,440

610

13.2

1,000

1,210

Dry

0.63

1.82

14,300

6,760

1,010

14.5

1,290

1,780

Quercus velutina ( black oak)

Green

0.56

1.18

8,200

3,470

710

12.2

1,060

1,200

Dry

0.61

1.64

13,900

6,520

930

13.7

1,210

1,910

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mechanical Properties-continued

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

Gravity

MOE

X106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

White Oak Group

Quercus alba (white oak)

Green

0.60

1.25

8,300

3,560

670

11.6

1,060

1,250

Dry

0.68

1.78

15,200

7,440

1,070

13.7

1,360

1,910

Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)

Green

0.64

1.59

9,900

4,360

760

14.5

1,160

1,300

Dry

0.72

2.05

17,700

8,600

1,190

14.8

1,620

2,000

Quercus garryana (Oregon white oak)

Green

0.64

Dry

0.72

Quercus lyrata (overcup oak)

Green

0.57

1.15

8,000

3,370

540

12.6

960

1,320

Dry

0.63

1.42

12,600

6,200

810

15.7

1,190

2,000

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)

Green

0.58

0.88

7,200

3,290

680

10.7

1,110

1,350

Dry

0.64

1.03

10,300

6,060

1,200

9.8

1,370

1,820

Quercus michauxii (swamp chestnut oak)

Green

0.60

1.35

8,500

3,540

570

12.8

1,110

1,260

Dry

0.67

1.77

13,900

7,270

1,110

12.0

1,240

1,990

Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)

Green

0.57

1.37

8,000

3,520

530

9.4

890

1,210

Dry

0.66

1.59

13,300

6,830

840

11.0

1,130

1,490

Quercus stellata (post oak)

Green

0.60

1.09

8,100

3,480

860

11.0

1,130

1,280

Dry

0.67

1.51

13,200

6,600

1,430

13.2

1,360

1,840

Live Oak Group

Quercus virginiana ( live oak)

Green

0.80

1.58

11,900

5,430

2,040

12.3

2,210

Dry

0.88

1.98

18,400

8,900

2,840

18.9

2,660

aWML = Work to maximum load.

Reference (59, 98).

 

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

Red Oak Group

Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)

Tangential

10.8

7.8

3.2

Radial

4.4

3.7

1.5

Volumetric

14.7

11.0

4.6

Quercus falcata (southern red oak)

Tangential

11.3

Radial

4.7

Volumetric

16.1

Quercus falcata var. pagodifolia (cherrybark oak)

Tangential

10.6

Radial

5.5

Volumetric

16.1

Quercus laurifolia (laurel oak)

Tangential

9.9

Radial

4.0

Volumetric

19.0

Quercus nigra (water oak)

Tangential

9.8

7.4

3.1

Radial

4.4

3.4

1.4

Volumetric

16.1

13.1

5.5

Quercus palustris (pin oak)

Tangential

9.5

7.6

3.2

Radial

4.3

3.4

1.4

Volumetric

14.5

11.6

4.8

Quercus phellos (willow oak)

Tangential

9.6

Radial

5.0

Volumetric

18.9

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Tangential

8.6

6.6

2.7

Radial

4.0

3.2

1.3

Volumetric

13.7

10.8

4.7

Quercus velutina ( black oak)

Tangential

11.1

7.8

3.2

Radial

4.4

3.6

1.5

Volumetric

15.1

11.4

4.7

 

 

Drying and Shrinkage-continued

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

White Oak Group

Quercus alba (white oak)

Tangential

10.5

7.2

3.0

Radial

5.6

4.2

1.8

Volumetric

16.3

12.6

5.3

Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)

Tangential

Radial

Volumetric

Quercus garryana (Oregon white oak)

Tangential

Radial

Volumetric

Quercus lyrata (overcup oak)

Tangential

12.7

Radial

5.3

Volumetric

16.0

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)

Tangential

8.8

7.0

2.9

Radial

4.4

3.5

1.5

Volumetric

12.7

10.2

4.2

Quercus michauxii (swamp chestnut oak)

Tangential

10.8

8.6

3.6

Radial

5.2

4.2

1.7

Volumetric

16.4

13.1

5.5

Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)

Tangential

10.8

7.8

3.2

Radial

5.3

4.4

1.8

Volumetric

16.4

13.4

5.6

Quercus stellata (post oak)

Tangential

9.8

7.8

3.3

Radial

5.4

4.3

1.8

Volumetric

16.2

13.0

5.4

Live Oak Group

Quercus virginiana ( live oak)

Tangential

9.5

7.6

3.2

Radial

6.6

5.3

2.2

Volumetric

14.7

13.0

5.4

References: 0% MC (98),
6% and 20% MC (90).

 

Kiln Drying Schedulesa

 

Stock

Condition

4/4, 5/4, 6/4

8/4

10/4

12/4

16/4

Western oaksb

Standard

T3-B1

T3-B1

Upland red oaksc

Standard

T4-D2

T3-D1

T3-C1

T3-C1

 

Lowland red oaksd

Standard

T2-C1

Table 113

Upland white oakse

Standard

T4-C2

T3-C1

T3-B1

T3-B1

Lowland white oaksf

Standard

T2-C1

Table 113

aReferences (6, 86).

b California black, Oregon white, canyon live.

cBlack, blackjack, cherrybark, northern pin, northern red, scarlet, Schumard,
southern red, turkey, water.

dCherrybark, laurel, nuttall, pin, Shumard, water, willow.

eBlue, bur, chestnut, chinkapin, Emory, Gambel, Mexican blue, post, white.
fBur, live, overcup, swamp chestnut, swamp white, white.

Working Properties: Oak wood has good working properties. It machines and glues well and holds fasteners extremely well. It tends to split when nailed, unless predrilled. Oak finishes well, but shrinks considerably.

Durability: The oaks are rated with respect to resistance to heartwood decay as follows (98):

Very resistant--bur oak, chestnut oak, Gambel oak, Oregon oak, post oak and white oak

Moderately resistant--swamp chestnut oak

Slightly to nonresistant--black oak and red oak

Preservation: The heartwood of the white oak group is resistant to impregnation with preservatives, whereas that of the red oak group is more easily penetrated.

Uses Ships, railroad crossties, timber bridges, tannin dyes, fuel wood, hardwood dimensions and flooring, furniture, veneer, plywood, barrels, kegs and casks (white oak group), truck and trailer beds, mining timbers, containers, pallets, caskets, boxes, paneling.

Toxicity: May cause allergic bronchial asthma, rhinitis, and dermatitis (40, 64, 105).

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

6.?Boone, R.S.; Kozlik, C.J.; Bois, P.J.; Wengert, E.M. 1988. Dry kiln schedules for commercial woods-temperate and tropical. Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-GTR-57. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.

29.?Elias, T.S. 1980. The complete trees of North America, field guide and natural history. New York: van Nostrand Reinhold Company.

40.?Hausen, B.M. 1981. Woods injurious to human health. A manual. New York: Walter de Gruyter.

55. ?Little, Jr., E.L. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. U.S. Government Printing Office.

59. Markwardt, L.J.; Wilson, T.R.C. 1935. Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States. Tech. Bull. 479. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. U.S. Government Printing Office.

64. Mitchell, J.; Rook, A. 1979. Botanical dermatology: plants and plant products injurious to the skin. Vancouver, BC: Greenglass Ltd.

68. Panshin, A.J.; de Zeeuw, C. 1980. Textbook of wood technology, 4th ed. New York: McGraw–Hill Book Co..

74. Record, S.J.; Hess R.W. 1943. Timbers of the new world. New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press.

78. Sander, I.L.; Rosen, H.N. 1985. Oak, an American wood. FS–247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

86. Simpson, W.T. 1991. Dry kiln operator's manual. Ag. Handb. 188. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.

90. Summitt, R.; Sliker, A. 1980. CRC handbook of materials science. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc. Vol. 4.

98. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1987. Wood handbook: wood as an engineering material. Agric. Handb. 72. (Rev.) Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
466 p.

105. Woods, B.; Calnan, C.D. 1976. Toxic woods. British Journal of Dermatology.
95(13): 1–97.