Our A+D Consultant in Dallas, Rick Farrell, will be sharing his wood knowledge with our readers. A slower growth rate will result in tighter grain. One of the main reasons for oak being so tough is the age of the oak tree before it … • Tighter grain structure producing a more dense … The higher tannin content makes European Oak more durable (rot-resistant), which is why it was the preferred wood for ship-building throughout European history. Some people refer to European Oak as ‘White Oak,’ but the truth is that European Oak is quite different from the wood that we call ‘White Oak’ here in North America. A slower rate of growth (tighter grain) is characterized by a greater proportion of spring wood and a smaller proportion of summer wood. Some people refer to European Oak as ‘White Oak,’ but the truth is that European Oak is quite different from the wood that we call ‘White Oak’ here in North America. In many areas these species grow side-by-side and easily hybridize. Some American mills have recognized the popularity of the European Oak and are now supplying us with lumber and flooring that they cut in the same manner as the European method. That higher tannin content also allows us to create unique and natural-looking colors via chemical processes that react with the tannins. To start off, both American oak and French oak are species of white oak. Botanically, European Oak a In his series, he will share his knowledge with you. [See the ‘CREATING COLOR FROM WITHIN – NATURAL REACTIVE COLOR PROCESSES’ blog post for further details about these coloring techniques.]. Which oak is used? Some companies market their Russian Oak as being more dense than Western European Oak because the cold Northern climate makes for slow growth and tighter grain, but in fact it’s the reverse – the Russian Oak is less dense. Within a particular species, localized soil quality and the individual tree’s access to water and sunlight impact the tree’s growth rate, which plays a role in determining tannin content. The Europeans have a technique that involves taking a “square” from the center of a log, called a cant, and slicing it straight through. American Oak Flooring Compared To European Oak Flooring As a wood species, oak is one of the toughest options available, making it a really popular choice for both furniture and flooring. Most White Oak lumber sold in North America contains some percentage of Q. alba, and that percentage can be close to 100% in some forests in the Great Lakes region, resulting in greater color & grain uniformity. Yes, you read that correctly, all three cuts in one plank! As a self-proclaimed “wood nerd”, Rick has become an invaluable educator to the Architect and Design communities specifically regarding wood flooring specie selection and design. Many variables are in play with oak aging. That being said, in European Oak, genetic differences among species play a much larger role in determining tannin content than does the latitude of the forest or the growth rate of the trees. Today I am going to explain in more detail the difference between American oak and French oak. The fact that Q. robur is wider-grained but also more dense seems to be a contradiction - see below under ‘TIGHTNESS OF GRAIN & DENSITY’ for an explanation of why this is the case. Through Rick’s experience in lumber sales then eventually wood flooring, he has become a leading authority on wood flooring specie. Its presence in our daily lives goes unnoticed to most, yet it is everywhere. ‘CREATING COLOR FROM WITHIN – NATURAL REACTIVE COLOR PROCESSES’, European Oak is more uniform gray in color, whereas White Oak tends to have more yellow and pink undertones, European Oak tends to have tighter grain than White Oak, European Oak tends to be more knotty than White Oak, European Oak has higher tannin content than White Oak, making it more rot-resistant and more suitable for reactive staining, fuming/smoking and other natural color processes. Comments will be approved before showing up. So, wood from a slow-growing tree with tighter grain (a larger proportion of spring growth) will contain more tannin than a fast-growing tree with wider grain (a larger proportion of summer growth). In North America, genetics play less of a role in tannin content, as the tannin content among the various species of the White Oak group is similarly low. In Northern Appalachia and the forests of Missouri and Kentucky, White Oak tends to contain a higher percentage of Q. bicolor and Q. macrocarpa. One of the main reasons for oak being so tough is the age of the oak … Please feel free to contact your A+D consultant to begin working with our award-winning, turnkey solution. Although it might not… It is estimated that more than 5 billion white oak trees in USA cover a total of more than 200,000 square miles! The main forests, mostly located in central France, are Allier, Limousin, Nevers, Tronçais and Vosges, and each is … We hope you get as much benefit from it as his clients do. This is because the Limousin Oak is mostly composed of Q. robur, whereas the Nievre/Allier Oak is mostly composed of Q. sessilis. Botanically, European Oak and White Oak both belong to the genus Quercus, which contains over 300 species, but they are composed of completely different groupings of species within that genus. 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