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Red Oak sapwood ranges from white to light brown in color. Most varieties of Red Oak heartwood will have golden, reddish tones, although some display deeper, reddish-brown tones. The wood has a course texture with a straight grain and shorter rays than White Oak.
Formal Name: Quercus Rubra
Red Oak grows throughout the eastern United States up through areas of eastern Canada. Oaks are the most abundant American hardwood species, with Red Oak more prevalent than White Oak.
Its excellent working properties have made Red Oak popular throughout American history for furniture construction and cabinetry. It machines well with moderate blunting of equipment. Red Oak holds nails and screws well, although pre-boring is recommended for best results. Red Oak is a very hard, heavy wood with good stiffness and excellent crushing strength. Red Oak stains to an attractive finish with medium-, golden- and dark-toned stains.
Red Oak is a popular wood for furniture, especially Mission, country and contemporary styles. It is also used widely in cabinetry, flooring, architectural millwork, mouldings, paneling and caskets.