What’s the Difference: White Oak vs. Red Oak
Two varieties differ in pore size, leaf shape, and clearly wood color
There are more than 60 species of oak growing in the United States, divided primarily into two groups: red and white. Both types grow mostly in the eastern half of the country and are easily distinguishable by their long, scalloped leaves: sharp-edged for red oak (left in photo), round-edged for white (right in photo).
Red-oak pores are large, and if you placed one end of a red-oak stick into soapy water and blew air through the other end, you would produce bubbles. Not so with white oak, which contains globular obstructions that block the easy passage of air and moisture. These globules, called tyloses, also fight bacteria, inhibiting decay and making white oak a better choice for outdoor projects.
Red oak. Its reddish cast distinguishes it from white oak.
Red oak is often very clear, straight-grained, and without defects. This makes it ideal for riven parts, such as the steam-bent arms…