English oak tree appearance wood uses and lumber
English oak trees are very common throughout the temperate zones of North and Central Europe. The scientific name of English oak is quercus robur and is part of the fagaceae family. This tree is also known as pendunculate oak and has great historic value. The Vikings used English oak for building their long boats and later in time so did the British navy. English oak has excellent hardwood properties, is easy to handle, nice colorations and a perfect fuel source. No surprise that English oak is Europe's favorite tree in many ways!
English oak tree, leaf and fruit description
The English oak tree can grow to heights up to 130 feet or 40 meters. The tree is classed deciduous but holds its dead leaves longer then other tree species. English oak leaves are arranged alternate and obovate shaped with five to nine lobes. The leaves are dark shiny green on the sun side and blue green on the other side. In autumn English oak leaves change color turning from dark green to dark red to yellow and brown. Pendunculate oak leaves can reach lengths up to 4 inches or 10 cm. Acorns are the fruits of the English oak tree. These typical tree fruits grow on long stalks and can reach lengths up to 1.5 inches or 4 cm. Young acorns are green colored and darken in time to dark brown before they fall to the ground.
English oak tree bark and trunk
Young English oak trees have smooth grey brown bark. When the tree gets older the bark gets darker and vertical ridged. Depending on the climate moss and other organisms often grow on the bark of older trees. The trunk of this tree has many branches. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees can have trunks with a diameter up to 5 feet or 1.5 meters.
English oak wood properties and durability
Fresh English oak heartwood has a pale brown color that darkens to dark brown in time. The color of fresh sapwood ranges from nearly white to light yellow and also gets darker when aging and exposure to sunlight. English oak wood is known for its coarse uneven texture, straight grain, high strength, good steam bending and wood working properties. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 695 kg per cubic meter. The durability of English oak wood is classed as II to III high to moderate durability.
English oak wood working tips and uses
English oak wood is very popular among carpenters and the wood work industry. It is moderate heavy wood therefore harp tools are always recommended when working by hand. English oak wood nails, screws, glues, and works well by machine. Pre drilling is advised when screws or nails are used. Iron can cause colorations in the English oak lumber just as in other wood types like cherry wood. English oak is used in a very wide range of products like furniture, turned articles, flooring, boat building, barrels, veneer, firewood and more.