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Telling the Difference between White & Red Oak Logs

Cambium

Cambium

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Coastal CT
I got a load of Oak dropped off but was wondering if its White or Red. The smaller "darker" pieces are throwing me off. The bark and big pieces look like White Oak.

What are the ways to tell the difference?

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DMAC

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Jan 13, 2011
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Illinois
From the pictures, I agree, it's hard to tell. Some of the smaller rounds have distinctively red heart wood but the bark is more consistent with white. This may not help determine the variety but I looked up the difference in my Dirr book: White oak bark on old trunks is light, ashy gray often broken into small, vertically arranged blocks and scales. Older trees have deep fissures with narrow ridges; sometimes with rather smooth, gray spots.

Red oak bark on old trunks is brown to nearly black and broken up into wide, flat-topped, gray ridges separated by shallow fissures. On very old trees the bark is often deeply ridged and furrowed.
 
Swamp Yankee

Swamp Yankee

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Red Oak

Surprised to see one from CT that large in dia. without a bunch of core rot. Lot of them when they reach 24 inches or so dbh, the centers start getting punky.

Looks like you got some noodlin' to do.

Take Care
 
taskswap

taskswap

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Connecticut
I'd put money on Pin Oak, which is technically a red oak. Most red oaks don't get so wide - I have 75ft tall red oaks on my property that are only half as wide as that - and has deeper furrows in the bark. Smooth bark in CT is almost always pin or black, and I don't seem to see black oak much.

Have any leaves? That's a sure way to tell.
 
Cambium

Cambium

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Thanks for the replies. I see a lot of Health Large Oaks this size around here but I wouldn't think Pin Oak gets to it.

But here's a couple of close-ups. I think I might agree it's a Red Oak now. No leaves around from it.

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CTYank

CTYank

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Aug 26, 2010
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SW CT
Northern Red Oak, definitely.

Noodling? WTH? That wood is as easy to split by hand as any. Lotsa "one-shot-kills" there with any decent, sharp maul.

Then, give it lots of time, at least two summers in the sun.
 
flotek

flotek

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Guys The leaves are in some of the pictures it's pin oak for sure . The difference between red and white is very easy to spot once you've compared them a few times . Pin oak has pointed leaves ( and narrow loves ) the red oak family has pointed ends too but fatter wider leaves. ..while the white oak has radius round leaf ends . Most oaks keep much of their leaves till December so leaf identification is easy to spot usually . The bark is noticeably different between the two and grain is too . It's one if those things where you just have to familiarize yourself by looking at pictures and the bark is another easy difference to spot
 
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