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Author Topic: The most valuable OAK trees  (Read 7693 times)

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Offline livemusic

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The most valuable OAK trees
« on: March 02, 2017, 10:34:55 AM »
I have another thread about water oak. Was a bit surprised to find that it is not such a sought after tree commercially; they grow readily around here and grow big.

I am mostly interested in aesthetic value and wildlife value to nurturing and growing forested land. But as for cash value, what oak species bring the most money and why?

Thanks for helping educate!
~~~
Bill

Offline nativewolf

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Re: The most valuable OAK trees
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 12:02:45 PM »
Veneer quality logs bring the most.  White Oak is in demand today and that would mean Swamp White Oak, Chestnut Oak, White Oak, etc.  Northern Red Oak used to be in high demand and I guess the veneer logs still are, doubt you'll see those in LA though.  So, a good ol Souther Red oak veneer log would fetch a pretty penny.

White oak trees are great! for wildlife, probably nothing better.  Acorns are low in tannin (what was used to make acorn flour)  and they fruit periodically so a white oak forest has a bumper crop every 3-4 years so wildlife can't keep up with acorn production. Otherwise between insects and wildlife the acorn crop rarely gets to germinate.  Great shade too, grow very straight and tall if on good soil.  Live hundreds of years.  Oh, and the bark on the larger limbs will flake, making deep cavities that are used by bats for nesting.  Anyway, a favorite tree of mine.  Different white oaks prefer different sites too, which helps spread them out across a woodlot. 

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Offline livemusic

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Re: The most valuable OAK trees
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 02:49:51 PM »
...White oak trees are great! for wildlife, probably nothing better.  Acorns are low in tannin (what was used to make acorn flour) 

This part in bold above... don't fully understand this... question: why is lower tannin good for wildlife, and what does acorn flour have to do with this?

and they fruit periodically so a white oak forest has a bumper crop every 3-4 years so wildlife can't keep up with acorn production.

Question: What does "so wildlife can't keep up with acorn production" mean?

Sorry, just not comprehending what you meant but I'd like to know!

Say, white oaks produce a pretty large acorn. Do deer and other animals eat these things? Seems they would hard to swallow but a deer could chew them up I guess, lol.
~~~
Bill

Offline TKehl

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Re: The most valuable OAK trees
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 03:55:47 PM »
Deer love acorns, that's a big part of what they fatten up on in the fall.  Goats and hogs love them to.  I tried walking hogs across an open area to another pen.  They wouldn't budge once they hit the oak trees despite the feed bucket.  I just left them til they had their fill.  Hogs relish eat Hickory and Walnut to.

Many alternate or cycle from heavy production (mast) to light production.  If they were constant, the critters would eat most of the seeds every year.  Periodic increases produce more than can be eaten and thus a higher percentage from these years germinate.
In the long run, you make your own luck – good, bad, or indifferent. Loretta Lynn

Offline nativewolf

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Re: The most valuable OAK trees
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 05:49:04 PM »
Acorns- 2 major groups of oak trees-red and white.  Red are smaller, very high in tannins and other bitter chemicals and only a wild animal could love them.  They usually sprout in the spring too.  Red oak leaves all have sharp spikes somewhere on the leaf.  A white oak has smooth leaves, they may have lobes but not sharp points on the leaves (google is your friend).

Periodicity is a term that means the tree species regulate how many flowers and thus acorns they are going to produce so that there is only a heavy crop every few years.  By making sure the yields are different they ensure that once every 4 years or so they will produce more acorns than any animal can eat. 

Wildlife love acorns, very high in fats (just think of any other nut and you'll get what I'm talking about- almonds, cashew, etc) like all other tree nuts.  You can just about eat a chestnut oak acorn they are so sweet, you'll pucker up afterwards but really not bad.  If you harvest a bucket full and let them dry, peel them, wash them (removes bitter chemicals) and mix with a bit of lime you can make a really tasty flour.  Native Americans used them (and chestnuts) for a major part of diet. 

Bear, Elk, Deer, Turkey, rodents, grouse, and more will all eat acorns before anything else.  Bear fattened up on acorns are pretty tasty if they have good white oaks.  Pigs feed on white oak acorns are prized, for example the expensive Spanish Hams- Jamón ibérico de bellota is basically free ranged pigs that are fattened on the cork oak acorn forest of Spain and Portugal- slaughtered in the late fall after being driven into town through the forest (a long long trip where they add 20% weight in acorn fat).  The acorn flavor is quite distinctive and much sought after.  Same for pigs in the US where a smithfield ham used to be prized- those were pigs that were fattened up on the acorn/chestnut/hickory forest of Virginia and NC and finished on gleanings on the peanut fields.  Pigs only have 1 stomach so they taste like what they have been eating.  Deer are ungulates so..I suspect they won't have that same taste profile.  Bear do though.  Not sure about Turkey and besides Spring turkey season would kinds of mean Turkey would be hunting bugs in the field.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: The most valuable OAK trees
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 05:52:43 PM »
Oh and to close up the Cork Tree oak forest thing...those are fire ecosystems.  That's why Cork trees have thick bark!  Just like the fire systems of the US-longleaf pine and redwood or sequoia.  Really neat that the pigs basically replaced fire and keep it all mowed in an agroforestry system managed by humans that is over a thousand years old.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: The most valuable OAK trees
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 03:31:51 AM »
White oak is in high demand for barrel staves.  Chinquapin oak is the only other species used for whiskey flavoring.
Revelation 13:11-18


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