Why Northern Red Oak?

Red Oak is one of the most widely used and abundant hardwoods in the eastern United States.

Prized by many in the production of furniture, cabinets, interior decorative items, flooring, stairs, and even mouldings, it comes as no surprise that Red Oak is one of the most requested hardwood species both domestically and for export and consistently keeps a high demand in the market.  However, the more time you spend in the hardwood lumber industry the more you begin to see that not all Red Oak lumber is the same.nro

Red Oak has a straight grain, coarse texture and is heavier in comparison to most hardwoods. It also grows plentifully in the eastern portions of the United States and Canada. A majority of the Red Oak that we produce, field inquiries for, and provide to our customers is in the 4/4 or 8/4 thickness range. But there are a few subtle differences between the Red Oaks found throughout such a large growing region.

For the purposes of this blog we are going to focus on Northern Red Oak. Red Oak that has been grown in the Northern and Appalachian regions (Quercus rubra) usually has a light pink or red color heartwood, tight growth rings due to the shorter growing season, and better overall color consistency. This makes Northern Red Oak perfect for manufacturers that desire those “special” Red Oak characteristics that make their products stand out.

An excellent example of the prized properties of Northern Red Oak is our 8/4 Prime Red Oak from our Titusville, PA facility. We use a combination of timber selection, sawing techniques, drying practices, and sorting to provide a premium Northern Red Oak product that is flat, straight, has excellent color consistency, is well edged, has great average widths and a eye catching cathedral grain pattern. It truly is everything you could ever want out of a Red Oak offering.

The timber selection that is used for the 8/4 Prime Red Oak from Titusville comes from a 100 mile radius of our Potter Lumber sawmill in Allegany, NY. By sourcing this from such a small radius it provides a much more consistent grain, texture, and color.

We also utilize selective sawing practices when cutting 8/4 Red Oak. This stock is produced from the largest logs and sawn with a focus on creating a “centered cathedral grain pattern” which limits the amount of sapwood in each board.

One of the best aspects of this offering is that this 8/4 Red Oak represents the full run of the mill. It is truly unselected with average widths over 9” and consistent color.Nothing is pulled out.

A proprietary grade like this is designed to give customers the most for their money. Of course, we have many other Red Oak offerings as well.  We typically have a wide availability of Red Oak lumber in thicknesses ranging from 4/4 through 8/4 and a general availability of Red Oak in 10/4 and thicker stock. We can even surface (S2S) and SLR2E upon request.

Interested in learning more about our 8/4 Prime Red Oak from Titusville? Learn more here, or let us know how we can help regarding this product or any of your Red Oak needs. We are happy to help figure out what Red Oak products would work best for YOU!

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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