It is a deciduous hardwood. Its average height ranges from 60` to 90` with a trunk diameter of 2` to 4 `. It is the state tree of Connecticut, Maryland and West Virginia. Although many white oaks grow taller, the biggest is identified as the long time champion "Wye Oak". This famous oak grows in Wye Mills State Park, Maryland and is the traditional site of local weddings and festive gatherings. The National Register of Big Trees measures it out at 79` high with a trunk circumference of 374" and a crown spread of 102`. Over 400 years old, it was growing when the Pilgrims landed in 1620. Long lived and growing to vast proportions, the white oak is just one of 86 oak species native to this country, but it is the classic oak of America. Although prevalent throughout the eastern half of the United States, from Maine to Texas, white oak lumber comes chiefly from the South, South Atlantic and Central States, including the southern Appalachians.


The wood of the mighty white oak lives up to the reputation of the tree itself, a symbol of strength and dependability. The best oak timber comes from the tall forest trees which produce even, straight grained wood that is hard, heavy, strong and durable. It is insect and fungi resistant. The sap conducting pores are naturally plugged with the glistening water repellent substance, tyloses. This virtual water-proofing sets white oak apart from all other native hardwoods. It also machines beautifully, glues well and holds nails and screws very well. Its handsome color ranges from nearly white sapwood to a darker gray brown heartwood. It is much paler than its relative, red oak. The most decorative and interesting grain patterns are obtained by quarter sawing. "Quartered white oak" is often specified for custom contract jobs because it produces pronounced, long light-reflecting ray patterns. Depending on the way the logs are sawn into timber (rift-cut, flat sliced, flat sawn, rotary cut, quartered), many distinctive and sought after patterns emerge: flake figures, pin stripes, fine lines, leafy grains and watery figures. White oak finishes beautifully.

White oak was once the most valuable of all species in the American wood products industry. Today Douglas fir, a softwood, holds that honor, but white oak remains the most important hardwood. Historically and currently, it is the first choice when water resistant wood is needed. It was, and still is, used for keels, planking and bent parts in ships and boats. Oak kegs and barrels were, and still are, prized in this country`s spirits production, for the aging and storage of wine, bourbon and whiskey.

White oak is still the best all-around hardwood and remains in reasonably good supply. It is a valuable, rather expensive wood, but is usually less expensive than cherry and walnut. It is sold as veneer and as lumber in the full range of grades and thicknesses. White oak makes up

Deciduous. Height 70 to 80 feet. Trunk diameter 3 to 6 feet, in maturity. Life span 200 years. Distribution the uplands of eastern North America from Nova Scotia south to Georgia and west to the Mississippi. It is principally harvested for lumber in the Lake States, as well as New England and the Central States. The largest recorded white ash is in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is 110 feet tall with an 85 foot spread and a trunk circumference of 25 feet.


The white ash is difficult to cultivate so is never found in pure stands. It does grow very well scattered among other species in the forest and thrives in most soil near streams. Like most other hardwoods the timber of the white ash is heavy, hard, strong and durable. What sets ash apart and makes it valuable for many special uses is its exceptional flexibility. Its color is nearly pure lustrous white, ranging through cream to very light brown. It has an attractive, straight, moderately open, pronounced grain.

An abundant native species, white ash seasons easily and quickly. It is readily available as lumber and veneer at moderate prices. Because it is very shock resistant, it is great to walk on; it makes wonderful flooring. It has excellent bending qualities and stays strong after shaping. White ash is easy to work. Because of its large pores it is seldom painted but takes all other finishes very well. "Cabinet Ash" is used for paneling, flooring, interiors, furniture and cabinets. Ash`s bending quality makes it good for upholstery frames and musical instruments. It makes the most wonderful tool handles both straight and curved. White ash is used extensively in the manufacture of sporting goods. We all know that baseball bats are made from white ash. Here`s a sampling of some other athletic equipment made from this tough flexible wood: hockey sticks, tennis rackets, boat oars, canoe paddles, snow shoes, skis, polo sticks, and even pool cue sticks.

Conifer. Frequently 200 feet high. Trunk diameter 15 feet. Mature trees separate near the top into 2 or 3 erect divisions. Distribution coastal ranges of western Canada and the United States from Alaska south through British Columbia, Washington and Oregon east to Idaho and Montana. The largest of all cedars, it is slow growing and very long-lived.

A huge tree with a broad tapering buttressed base, the "coastal" or "western" red cedar grows along the mist-drenched North Pacific Coast in tall majesty. The wood of this cedar has a rich earthy red color and subtle patterns of texture. It is straight and even grained, moderately soft and light in weight. It is completely non-resinous and is one of the most decay resistant species in America. It has small shrinkage.

Although low in strength and brittle, its tendency to split easily makes it perfect for shingles and for shakes many of which are still hand crafted with simple tools. Because of its characteristic fragrance and red color the wood of western red cedar is sometimes confused with the "aromatic" or incense-cedar which grows in the east and is familiar due to its widespread use in cabinetry, closets and chests.

Western red cedar has played an important role in the building of America. In the past century its shingles and shakes have graced the exteriors of countless thousands of homes. It is appropriate for modest cottages and stately mansions. This cedar is probably the only material that can be used to good advantage over an entire house-on interior walls as paneling, on exterior walls as siding and as roofing. Red cedar`s on-going popularity is due to its long lasting beauty, durability, resistance to weather decay and moderate price.

Red cedar`s natural warmth is more satisfying than the machine made synthetic sidings and building materials. Fire retardant treated cedar roof shingles are not only safe but reflect the good taste of contemporary home builders.

Because of its extremely low maintenance characteristics cedar is the ideal practical choice of vacation homes, or any home. It is also a problem-solver in remodeling as it can be applied quickly and easily over existing siding and roofing.

The lumber of the western red cedar is used most extensively for shingles, hand split shakes and roof shingles. Because it is easy to work and resistant to moisture, it is also used for caskets and coffins, posts, pilings and boatbuilding. It is also used for porch columns, fencing, doors, boxes, crates and veneers and paneling.