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White Oak versus Red Oak

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 1023 days ago 4204 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richgreer

4522 posts in 1679 days


1023 days ago

I am aware of an oak tree that the owner wants removed.

Does anyone know how, based on the appearance of the tree, one can tell if it is white oak or red oak?

I’ve done a little web searching but, so far, I have found no help.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.


16 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5258 posts in 1202 days


#1 posted 1023 days ago

The points of the leaves are more rounded on white oak vs the pointy leaves of the red oak.

View Viktor's profile

Viktor

447 posts in 2023 days


#2 posted 1023 days ago

Red oak

White oak

The shapes vary a lot, but it is what Shane said.

View Bill Burr's profile

Bill Burr

12 posts in 1036 days


#3 posted 1022 days ago

A white man used a round bullet. A red man used a pointed spear. Pointed lobes = red oak lumber. Round lobes = white oak lumber. Just to confuse you there is a white oak tree. Also a red oak tree. There is even a black oak, it prodeces red oak lumber.

-- Just another beautiful day in paradise.

View andysden's profile

andysden

45 posts in 1022 days


#4 posted 1022 days ago

red oak bark is usually smoth and white is rougher Andysden

View wchips's profile

wchips

314 posts in 1692 days


#5 posted 1022 days ago

I learned something today. I never knew the difference between red osk and white oak leaves.

-- wchips

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1079 posts in 1080 days


#6 posted 1022 days ago

Most all the white oaks have an ash gray, very light colored, almost white, scaly bark. You can “pick” the scales off with your hand. There are a number of “white oaks”. There is white oak, post oak, overcup oak, chinkapin oak, swamp chestnut oak, chestnut oak, burr oak, etc.

Red oaks do not have an almost white, ash gray, scaly bark that you can “pick off” with your hands. Usually, red oak bark is dark gray or black and ridged and it may be streaked with silver, but it is not ash gray and scaly. Even the red oaks that have smooth lighter colored bark are not scaly. There are many red oaks in the Red Oak Group. Some common ones are water oak, willow oak, laurel oak, southern red oak, northern red oak, shumard oak, cherrybark oak, black oak, scarlet oak, blackjack oak, etc.

The red oaks have leaves with lobes that are pointed and the leaf lobes have little spines. The white oaks generally have leaves that have rounded lobes, and leaves in the White Oak Group do not have spines.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1679 days


#7 posted 1022 days ago

Thanks everyone. I really learned some valuable information today. I now know that the tree in question is a red oak. The leaves are definitely red oak leaves.

Thanks again.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View spunwood's profile

spunwood

1194 posts in 1440 days


#8 posted 1022 days ago

Wow, great stuff folks!

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1079 posts in 1080 days


#9 posted 1021 days ago

Red oak is good! I saw a bunch of it and it is very popular. I have red oak wainscott in my home and it is beautiful.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View doordude's profile

doordude

1085 posts in 1587 days


#10 posted 1021 days ago

I always just go to my local nursery and bring a leaf and he always identifies the tree for me. i’ve tried using the net, but there is too many varities that are real close in type. better to ask the professional

View ksSlim's profile

ksSlim

956 posts in 1494 days


#11 posted 1021 days ago

Here’s a link to tree identification http://www.treelink.org/whattree/
Put together by the Arbor Day folks. Good place for aspiring foresters to start.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5372 posts in 1980 days


#12 posted 1021 days ago

Good to know! Thanks!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Craig Havran's profile

Craig Havran

331 posts in 1216 days


#13 posted 1020 days ago

leaves with three, leave them be… i really can’t tell the difference in red or white oak. i think they taste the same.

-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

View willie's profile

willie

456 posts in 1058 days


#14 posted 1019 days ago

If you cut a piece of red oak and a piece of white oak 3/4” to 1” long, you can blow air through the red oak but not the white oak, by mouth.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Kent's profile

Kent

42 posts in 2439 days


#15 posted 1019 days ago

check out http://leafsnap.com/

They will soon have an app for the droid, now it is available only for the apple ipad / ipod – but you take a picture of the leave with your phone and with the help of millions of people around the world, two major universities and the smithsonian institute, we will all be able to identify trees accurately in seconds. I thought it was a great idea.

Kent

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