Lexicon DIY-Knowledge


Eiche / Quercus



The oak grows in the moderate climate of Central Europe and Northern America, either alone in mixed forests or as dominant tree in forests and prefers fresh, deep soils.Three types are essential:English or pedunculate oak (quercus robur),Red oak (quercus rubra) andSessile or durmast oak (quercus petraea).The oak sheds all its leaves in winter. Its crown is very wide, it can reach a height of up to 50 m and its trunk a diameter of up to 3 m. Its bark has longitudinal cracks and a greyish-brown colour. It grow slowly and can reach an age of up to 700 years. Its forestry harvest time of 180-300 years is the longest among our forest trees.

Oak wood has a very hard, dense, portative and long-fibred structure. If a tree is felled, you can easily recognise the medullary rays. Oak is greyish-yellow to brown with age and highly decorative (streaks and threads, mainly through pore channels in spring wood). Despite its firmness, oak has a lot of flexural strength (especially red oak). It can be cleanly processed with all tools and splits easily. Oak has a good bonding stability, is sturdy and very durable, even under moist conditions (Venice stands on oak poles).
Oak wood darkens heavily under the influence of daylight. Light protection with UV absorbers is possible. Oak wood discolours strongly after contact with iron, copper or brass. Iron rusts strongly after contact with oak. With cement, the bonding is disturbed after contact with oak wood.
Oak wood is used as high-quality structural and fittings wood for in- and outdoor purposes, as wood for the construction of boats, barrels and parquetry, as veneer and solid wood for furniture.
In the past, oaks were the objects of religious reverence. They served mystical purposes and feudal courts and tribunals were held under special oaks. Especially old oaks are protected nowadays as natural monuments.