The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: qbilder on November 23, 2010, 08:18:09 PM

Title: brown oak
Post by: qbilder on November 23, 2010, 08:18:09 PM
Has anybody ever cut an oak that had dark brown wood? I cut a small log this weekend that had chocolate brown wood with very bold medullary rays that were nearly black. It was stunning quarter sawn wood. I have never seen anything like it but would love to have a load for myself. I'm in the mountains of southern NM and oak isn't uncommon but it's always just the typical sandy blond colored stuff. I grew up in the Appalachian mountains & we cut several varieties of oak but I have never seen anything that was dark brown. It wasn't bacteria or mineral stained. It was consistent dark brown with a thin white sap ring. I wish I had pics. But I was grinning every cut, amazed & awed with it. It was like walnut stained white oak but natural.

Is this a species of tree I can identify & target? I'd love to have a load. Thanks   
Title: Re: brown oak
Post by: paul case on November 23, 2010, 08:22:43 PM
sounds like post oak to me. real hard. pc
Title: Re: brown oak
Post by: Magicman on November 23, 2010, 08:31:57 PM
I immediately thought Post Oak, but my book doesn't show it that far West.  Some of our Foresters probably can help.  Leave and bark samples would help.
Title: Re: brown oak
Post by: qbilder on November 23, 2010, 08:43:33 PM
The bark doesn't seem any noticeably different than other oaks around here. And the leaves are miniature. They are only a couple inches long by maybe an inch wide. I won't know til spring exactly what different varieties we have because there's no leaves right now. But I have noted some with sharp lobs & some with rounded lobes. None get very large or straight so they're not a commercially cut tree. The largest I have seen are pushing 24"x8' before branching. I'm not native here & don't know the trees well enough yet. But I have seen lots of the local oak & this is the first time I seen dark brown.

I have found 2 types of hard maple growing here, plus a tree that is strikingly similar to cherry in every way except instead of the sweet cherry smell, the lumber has an almost citric smell. Even the leaves & bark look the same as cherry. None of the trees get large or abundant enough for commercial logging/milling so there's not much info about them. The conifers are quite popular for milling around here while the scrubby little hardwoods are ignored.....except for firewood.

I appreciate the lead on post oak. I'll look into it. Many thanks.     
Title: Re: brown oak
Post by: Magicman on November 23, 2010, 09:00:15 PM
Your leaf description eliminates Post Oak.  It had already been eliminated by geography.  Canyon Live Oak is a possibility.  It's leaves are one-third enclosed and it loses it's leaves yearly.  It's found in Southwestern US.
Title: Re: brown oak
Post by: bandmiller2 on November 23, 2010, 09:09:50 PM
May not be the same but I've cut oak with that brown coloration that had a cavity where a branch had broken off and the pocket held water. Frank C.
Title: Re: brown oak
Post by: WDH on November 23, 2010, 09:52:44 PM
In my limited experience, the white oak group produces more of a brown heartwood while the red oak group produces heartwood that has more red in it and less brown.  However, that may not apply out West.  Therefore, when I read your description, I suspected a white oak of some sort.
Title: Re: brown oak
Post by: tyb525 on November 23, 2010, 10:01:51 PM
I've cut some white oak that had real dark heart with distinct rays.
Title: Re: brown oak
Post by: qbilder on November 23, 2010, 11:54:22 PM
It does have white oak characteristics such as the bold rays. The other oaks here seem to be like a red oak with finer rays and lighter color. It's not brown from a rotten branch. This is uniform & consistent color throughout the log from base to top, and distinct line between heart & sap. I appreciate the help, fellas. I think I have some leads to look into.     
Title: Re: brown oak
Post by: LeeB on November 24, 2010, 12:31:35 AM
I vote for live oak. How hard was it? Didi it gum up your blades real bad?. Leaf shape oblong and rounded with a small point on the end, about 1 1/2" long and 1/2" wide? Sounds like something similar to a live oak in central Texas called scrub oak.
Title: Re: brown oak
Post by: qbilder on November 24, 2010, 09:07:16 AM
I vote for live oak. How hard was it? Didi it gum up your blades real bad?. Leaf shape oblong and rounded with a small point on the end, about 1 1/2" long and 1/2" wide? Sounds like something similar to a live oak in central Texas called scrub oak.

That maybe sounds like our culprit. Muchos gracias