Lisnavagh Timber Project Forum

Irish Hardwood Timber => Irish timber versus imported timber => : Sean 05 August, 2004, 16:17

: The colour of oak
: Sean 05 August, 2004, 16:17
Why is American white oak brown?   Is it a different species to Irish oak that also is brown but darker in colour?  Is there a white Irish oak?

: Re: The colour of oak
: Woodmaster 18 August, 2004, 10:57
I am no expert on American White Oak, as we do not supply it.   However, I know that American white oak is a different species to Irish and English oak (there are several hundred species of oak in the world.   American oak is Quercus alba, whereas the "Irish" or Sessile Oak is Quercus petraea and the "English" or Pendunculate oak is Quercus robur.    

In terms of colour, the American White Oak does (I believe) have a slightly lighter colour than the Irish & English oaks, but it is still basically a golden/tan colour, and not actually white.

The colour (of any timber) can also be affected by minerals in the earth around the roots of the tree.  These meineals can cause streaks to appear in the timber or just give the timber a generally darker colour.   This is regarded by some as a blemish, although we and many others consider it to be a feature!   It's a matter for personal preference.

I hope that this is of some help.

William Bunbury

: Re: The colour of oak
: Zorro 16 January, 2005, 01:29
American oak is bland.
Irish oak is interesting, catches the eye and has character.   It's that simple. ;)

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