Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Northern Minnesota Red Oak

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.


Attached are some photos of a recent Red Oak cut in our Bigfork mill.  Note the tight growth rings and consistent color.  These logs came from a number of logging jobs south of Grand Rapids between Sugar Lake and State Hwy 6.  The soils and rolling hills of this area provide some ideal sites for growing quality Northern Red Oak.


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.

2 comments:

William Dunigan said...

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Eli Sagor said...

That's nice red oak!