What Is Oak Used For?
Oak trees are a plentiful species and can be used for hundreds of different uses. It is the oak tree that produces acorns which are then used in food and drinks. The wood has many uses and is one of the most sought-after types of wood for its strength and appearance. It is highly likely that you’ve had oak furniture in your home at some stage or even enjoyed a glass of wine that was aged in an oak barrel.
The wood from oak is incredibly durable and has an attractive light colour with a striking grain. It is highly durable thanks to its resistance to fungal attack. It is a dense wood with a high tannin content which is what helps prevent fungal disease. As an oak tree reaches maturity, it can drink almost 50 gallons of water every day!
The shade of wood varies between trees and even between individual branches of a tree. This is what makes every piece of oak unique, even when oils are applied as a finish, there are so many variations in the grain and the golden shine. Oak is very beautiful, needing little decoration or ornamentation.
Oak is most commonly seen in furniture and construction. Oak is used to makes tables, cabinets, bookcases, chairs and many other storage units. It is favoured thanks to its durability and strength. Flooring can also be made from oak and many other construction projects make use of this timber. Buildings can make beautiful features of exposed oak beams or add an attractive and welcoming entrance to their home using bespoke oak frames for a porch.
Some species of oak bark is used in medicine. White oak can be added to creams for the skin as it contains iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin B12. The bark from white oak can also be used in tea and is said to have curative effects on gall and kidney stones.
It has been widely used for ship construction in Europe too. You’ll also find oak wood in instruments. For example, Yamaha use Japanese oak to make their drums as it produces a louder tone than other timber.
Barrels for storing wine are also usually made from oak. As wine ages inside the oak barrel, it takes on the flavour of the white oak which greatly enhances it. The cork in the top of a bottle is also made from cork oak.
Along with oak, the maple tree is another commonly used timber. Both maple and oak trees are plentiful in Europe, North America and Asia.