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Not all Oak is as hard as Oak?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by ChrisNJ, Jan 12, 2010.

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  1. ChrisNJ

    ChrisNJ Feeling the Heat

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    So red Oak is really hard, seasoned White Oak not so much? I wonder how it has such a high btu rating since it seems to weigh half that of red Oak? Or I could be miss identifying my white oak. And whats up with Pin Oak, shouldn't I be able to split that with a maul and wedge? I cant seem to get it done while the red and white split with ease :p I have a bunch more Pin Oak to gather as a scrounge but the rounds are to big to lift.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    white oak and silver maple look a lot alike. Sounds like you have something other than white oak?
  3. JoeyD

    JoeyD Minister of Fire

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    I've never had white oak to burn but I have used it woodworking and it seemed as heavy or heavier then red oak. What you have may not be white oak. As for the pin oak I believe that is considered red oak, you may just have some tough stuff there.
  4. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    White oak seems to me just as hard as other oaks, when all are equally seasoned and dry. I have no experience with pin oak, but other types of oak can be quite hard to split if the tree grew twisted, bunch of knots, etc.
  5. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    White oak is a bit denser because the pores are not open like red oak. That's why it is so rot resistant, while red oak will rot badly if allowed to stay wet.

    Don't get a lot of white oak around here, but my experience is that it is superior to red as a firewood. It ignites and burns a little better, especially when not fully seasoned. I'm not a huge red oak fan, but I'd sure like to lay down some nice white for a year or two.
  6. Nic36

    Nic36 Feeling the Heat

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    I have both types for firewood and sorta thought the Red was more dense, although I know the White Oak is higher on the BTU chart. It's probably my imagination.

    I have been cutting on a large Willow Oak that has fallen in my yard. I can certainly tell it is more dense that White or Red Oak.
  7. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    there are lots of types of red and white oaks. in general white oaks are denser and better wood that red oak. certainly a standing dead red oak will rot WAY faster than a standing dead white oak.

    Pin oak is a type of red oak, as is willow oak, and both pin and willow oaks tend to be really limby so i can imagine they would be tougher to split.

    If you have red oak, and something that is half as heavy, either your red oak is really wet, or your white oak is not white oak.

    good white oak is a pretty dense heavy wood. there are other white oaks like post oak, chestnut oak, bur oak, swamp white, swamp chestnut, etc. of those the only one's I've burned are (regular) white and chestnut oak, and chestnut oak doesn't seem to be quite as dense as white.

    there are even more reds that whites and include northern red (the most widely distributed and usually called just 'red' oak), black oak which is very similar, pin oak, scarlet oak, shumard oak, willow oak, southern red, and way more down south.

    any oak is going to be a good heavy, good burning wood.

    a previous poster was also right, silver maple bark can kind of look a little like white oak and its super light when dry and burns really hot and fast.
  8. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    Here is a good example of Bark variations on White Oak.
    It's just as heavy as any Oak I've busted up.

    WoodButcher

    Attached Files:

  9. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I have both white and red oak here and the only difference I've seen is the color of the bark and wood.

    except: white oak is almost impossible to transplant and grows rather slowly.
    I don't cut much white oak, though. It's not dying off / stressed like the red oak is and I'm letting as much white oak be as possible. They also seem to harbor a little leaf worm that the yellow warblers like.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Pin oak is indeed a red oak. It split harder simply because there are so many knots. One reason I hate cutting pin oaks is there is always so much trimming to do before you can cut any firewood. Nasty stuff, but it burns great....after 3 years drying.
  11. chad3

    chad3 Feeling the Heat

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    I'll trade anyone red oak for white oak any day of the week. White burns better keeps coals longer and will give longer load times.
    Have one stack of just about only white and one with red and white. Horde the white.
    Chad
  12. Summertime

    Summertime New Member

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    White Oak smells great when splitting and burning.
  13. ChrisNJ

    ChrisNJ Feeling the Heat

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    I must have misidentified my white oak as it is 1/2 the weight of my red oak splits, it burns great though, but I am partial to heavy splits like my Black Locust which weighs a lot.
  14. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    I'm getting excited reading this thread, I'm planning on taking down between 3-5 whites on Monday.
  15. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    Red oak holds more moisture than white oak. When they are both green, red oak rounds are heavier.
  16. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Could the white oak be really old and decomposing ? It would be soft like a cork but still look like hardwood. And very light, weight-wise.
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