Why Is White Oak So Hard To Find?

If you have spent time in the hardwood lumber industry you are most likely aware that there have always been ebbs and flows in both supply and demand.

Depending on the market, sometimes Red Oak could be on top, other times it could be Cherry, Ash or another specie. At this moment, we are seeing an increase in demand for White Oak. But why is it so hard to find?  From our perspective here are a few potential reasons.whiteoak 30321948 m

Logging - This year, for most of the northeast, the winter season has been unusually warm in most of the regions where White Oak grows. Because of this it has made these forests increasingly muddy and difficult to log. This has resulted in increased competition for White Oak logs and has had a limiting effect on sawmill production of White Oak lumber.

Stave Log Demand - Recently we have seen an increase in demand for “Stave Quality” logs that are used in the production of wine and whiskey barrels. With the increase in this demand, it has had an impact on the number of available sawlogs. Logs that would have been normally sawn into lumber are now being used for staves, hampering White Oak lumber supply.

Increase in Domestic & Global Demand - White Oak has seen steady growth in demand due to stylistic demands by many designers. Typically, it has been the Prime and FAS grades of White Oak that are being requested and are most often being used for mouldings, millwork, furniture, etc. Additionally, many of the hardwood distributors have been requesting more White Oak lumber for their yards to keep up with customer demand.

Despite these challenges, we have a consistent and reliable supply of White Oak available across all grades and thicknesses. Whether that be through one of our own facilities or one of our many trusted partner mills, our white oak supply has remained steady. So, please consider giving us a call if you are looking for some white oak lumber. We can even rip & surface it for you!

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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