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You don't know Jack...Oak.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Woody Stover, May 27, 2011.

  1. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I've got a lot to learn regarding tree ID. Until now, my Oak ID method was to look at the bark up higher in the tree. If it had loose plates, like a Shagbark, that was a White. If it had flat ridges up high, well that was a Red Oak. I usually can't see leaves close up on trees in the woods, because the branches start pretty high up on the trunks. I might try binoculars.
    We had high winds last night and this was some of what I found in the yard:

    Longest leaf here is the White Oak, about 6". The first two have a similar yellow-green back, which fits the description of Black. Book sez Black can have shallow or deep lobes. Hairs in the vein angles on the back. The third, White I think, has a pale green back.
    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h407/2bnator/006-3.jpg

    This monster was cut from a low-hanging branch of a tree that was close to the road. 10" long! The bark higher up was smooth, also matching the Black Oak description. Pics too dark. The camera manual is something I also need to read. :)
    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h407/2bnator/010-1.jpg

    This tree is at SIL's house. Rounded lobes, but looks totally different than the White leaf above.
    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h407/2bnator/001-8.jpg
    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h407/2bnator/003-3.jpg
    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h407/2bnator/002-3.jpg
    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h407/2bnator/005-1.jpg
    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h407/2bnator/004-3.jpg

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  2. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    In your first pic, I think you've got red or black on the left, pin oak in the middle, and white on the right. For black vs. red vs. scarlet oak, I've always used the relative amount of red hairs on the underside of the leaf - mainly lacking in red oak, in the 'armpits' in red scarlet (where the midvein and secondary veins branch) and well covered in black. I think you SIL has post oak. All great oaks!! Cheers!
  3. Creekyphil

    Creekyphil New Member

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    Eastern MA - South Shore
    When I worked at a kids summer camp, we used to tell the kids that:

    White oak has leaves that are rounded, like a white mans bullets.

    Red oak has leaves that are pointy, like a red mans arrows.

    Not politically correct, but it works for a memory device.

    I found the easiest way to differeniate between the various red oaks and white oaks is by flower. The flowers are always very unique, even on trees as similar as red and scarlet oak. That being said, I don't know why you would have to do this for firewood purposes.
  4. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    There are two categories of Oak for me....White Oak and not White Oak. Lol
  5. Stax

    Stax Minister of Fire

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    +1 for Pin Oak in the middle.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That will work certified! Of course there is always hickory and knot-hickory (pronounced as not hickory).
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    The pictures of your SIL Oaks may be Burr Oak. I have a couple in my yard that look like that. Then I have a huge Oak in my yard that looks like a cross between White and Burr. There are many varieties for sure and they are all great for firewood if you have the patients to let it dry.
  8. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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  9. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    If I remember right from biology class in high school, 'red' oaks have pointed lobes, and 'white' oaks have rounded lobes. Specific species went from there. Doesn't really matter to me. It all takes a long time to season, and it's all exceptional firewood once it gets there.
  10. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    The first picture seems to show Black Oak, then Scarlet/Pin, then White Oak. The really big leaves seem likely to be Northern Red Oak, while the tree at SIl's house seems like Post Oak. Black oak has smaller, thicker, glossy leaves than Red Oak. This isn't easy to tell all the time or from a single leaf, or in the spring when the leaves are new. Scarlet Oak has deeply lobed leaves like the middle leaf. That could also be Pin Oak. Pin Oak is usually in wetter areas like river valleys, and is absent from many drier upland forests. Around here there are 10s of thousands of acres of mountain with mostly oaks, but no Pin Oaks at all, but lots of Scarlet Oak. The really large leaves seem like Northern Red Oak to me - at least in my area that is what I would guess they are.
  11. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Agreed, it doesn't matter once it goes through the door of the stove; It's all good heat! :) I just find these differences to be interesting. I have plenty of dead/standing to cut, so I'm curious to see how long it takes to dry.

    Here's a row of Black I've got started.
    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h407/2bnator/BlackOak001-1.jpg


    Yeah, I've got two Pin scrounges in the works right now, and both were growing next to streams in low areas. My property is higher up and well-drained. Another reason that I think that leaf may not be a Pin is the pictures my book is showing. The sinuses between the lobes are slanting more toward the base of the leaf on the Black and the sinuses are more rounded on the Pin. The leaf shape in general more resembles their pic of Black. Granted, from what I understand, leaves and bark can show a lot of variation within a single species. With both the skinny leaf and the jumbo appearing to be Black Oak, I've gotta say that I'm thoroughly confused. :lol:



    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h407/2bnator/001-9.jpg[/i]
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I'm glad you stated "usually in wetter areas." We have one growing out of our sand dune. I thought it was totally dead and planned on cutting it but did not get to it last winter. Now I see a few leaves on it but I'll still cut it next fall or winter.

    We have pin oaks in both wet and dry areas here. In fact, one is only about 25 yards from me right now and it is a pretty good sized tree. btw, all our land is yellow sand.

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