Red Oak is among the most common hardwood species in North America, if not the most common. Don't let it's abundance fool you, however. True Northern Red Oak is a wonderful and valuable lumber item. The short growing season of northern Minnesota makes the forester's task of growing large, straight, tall Red Oak trees (logs) a difficult one.
In the past 10 years or so, consumer tastes have shifted away from Red Oak and towards woods such as Cherry, Maple and Birch. But it appears that the inevitable shift in tastes back to Oak is starting to occur. Some young folks are starting to tell us that they want "Oak" like their grandparents had, not the other woods that their parents preferred. This cycle seems to repeat itself.
What we do know is that nearly all of the species of wood from Northern Minnesota have desirable qualities.... if we put the work in to growing quality trees.