Wormy Red Oak

Botanical Name

Quercus Rubra

Other Common Names

Northern Red Oak


Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada

The Tree

Depending on the growing conditions, it can reach a height of 70ft and a diameter of 3ft. It constitutes about one-third of all the hardwood lumber produced. This lumber category may contain as many as 17 different species of trees. Northern red oak is the most preferred species.


The color can range light tan to pinkish-red. The damage in this red oak example was caused by oak timber worms.  These worms cause most worm hole damage seen in red and white oak.  The worm tunnel size ranges from 1/64" to 3/16", surrounding wood rarely dark stained.  Wood moisture content must be above 30 percent for timber worms to continue activity. The kiln drying process kills any infestation.


The wood has straight grain and a course texture, though this can vary according to the rate of growth. Northern wood is not as course
as that from trees grown in southern states, which are fast grown.

Working Properties

Oak wood has good working properties. It machines and glues well and holds fasteners extremely well. It tends to split when nailed, unless predrilled. Oak finishes well, but shrinks considerably.


Antique and Rustic furniture, Flooring and Picture frames.


Available at specialty wood dealers, reasonably priced.