Red Oak Tree - Tree Plantation Timber and Veneer
Northern red oak is an ideal tree species for short cycle sustainable tree plantations harvested for timber, veneer and wood pellets. Clear grained knot free Red oak sawlogs are used for cabinetry, flooring, moldings and barrels. The Northern Red oak or Champion Oak, Quercus Rubra (syn. Quercus borealis), is an oak in the Red Oak group (Quercus section Lobatae). It is a native of North America, in the northeastern United States and southeast Canada. It grows from the north end of the Great Lakes, east to Nova Scotia, south as far as Georgia. It grows best in soil that is slightly acidic.
Red Oak Wood
The Northern Red Oak is one of the most important oaks for timber production in North America. The wood is of high value. Other related oaks are also cut and marketed as Red Oak, although their wood is not always of as high a quality. These include Black Oak, Scarlet Oak, Pin Oak, Shumard Oak and Southern Red Oak. Northern Red Oak is widely planted in Central Europe, imported at the turn of the second last century.
Red Oak Tree North American Growing Zones
Northern Red Oak native growing areas are concentrated in Eastern Canada and the United States. Although native to Eastern North America, Northern Red Oak may also be grown in microclimate areas of the Western States and Canada, principally the central interior province of British Columbia and Washington State.
The most valuable Red Oak trees are clear-grained knot-free sawlogs 12 feet in length, which are sold as veneer.
Red Oak Tree Wood Products
- Red Oak tree dimensional lumber
- Red Oak tree hardwood flooring
- Red Oak tree cabinetry
- Red Oak tree moldings
- Red Oak tree barrels for the wine industry
Stump Growing Red Oak Trees
Northern Red Oak sprouts profusely from cut stumps and this helps greatly with stump regeneration plantations.
Given the right growing conditions, Red Oak is one of the fastest growing of all the oaks.
Red Oak Tree Plantation
Red Oak is second only to White Oak as a valuable oak timber tree plantation tree species.
Timber Tree Plantation Costs
Red Oak tree plantation costs average between $500 and $1,000 per acre depending on how many acres are planted – the more acres planted the lower the cost. An average of 800 trees per acre is common. A thinning program should be initiated during year 10 cutting every second tree so the remaining trees will size up. On average, the thinned trees will increase two times diameter compared to a plantation with no thinning.
Note* It is important to transplant seedlings that are at least 3 years old and 4 feet tall so they will survive the first and second winters. It is also advisable to use tree shelters or security fencing to protect young oak tree seedlings from grazing deer. Starting a Red Oak plantation with 10-foot tall tree seedlings will eliminate the need for shelters and fencing.
Mixing Tree Species
For a healthier plantation, it is advisable to intermingle plantings comprising other tree species such as sugar maple, yellow birch and/or white pine. Planting another tree species for every 20 red oaks should be adequate.
Invest In A Red Oak Tree Plantation
Depending on market conditions, Red Oak earns gross revenue between $30,000 and $50,000 per acre in year 30 and double that in year 50. In year 10, thinned trees may be sold and/or converted into high BTU value wood pellets.
Note* Red Oak is one the few hardwood tree species that will generate new growth from cut stumps. The extensive root system of the cut tree will generate 5 or 6 new seedlings with an accelerated growth rate – usually 3 times that of a transplant seedling.