Florida Oak trees for Lumber?? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-29-2009, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Florida Oak trees for Lumber??

I have lived in Florida for some forty years and do not recall seeing anyone harvesting the live or great oak here . I am wondering why. Is there a problem with the wood? I see lots of pine and cypress harvested but none of the oak...
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-29-2009, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Here is what I find from a google search which makes since to be. I guess they do have a red oak in North Florida that may be used for furniture. I am in Central Florida in the Orlando area.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-29-2009, 02:30 PM
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There are definitely oak trees in Northern Florida which can be and are used for hardwood lumber.

There are also Naval Oaks which do not make good lumber because there is seldon a long, straight run of the tree. The Naval Oaks got their name because the curved trunks/limbs were a good shape for the ribs in boats.

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post #4 of 5 Old 07-29-2009, 07:17 PM
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"Live Oak" is generally the same thing as calling something "Ironwood"; neither "specie" exists singularly.

There are several live oaks. They are sort of the equivelant of "evergreen" softwoods. Live oaks stay green year-round or almost year-round. There are also many "Ironwoods". For example, the Southern Live Oak is a specific specie of the general group of live oaks. It has the highest density of any North American hardwood regardless of much disinformation otherwise. Could some regions call "Live oak" an "Ironwood"? Of course.

What you're seeing is the harvest of the (SYP) southern pines going down the highways because they are the most profitable commercial tree in the southern states. SYP is the best commercial framing timber bar none.

That doesn't mean hardwoods, including oaks and other genus' aren't being harvested though. You just aren't seeing the pulp logs, the tie logs, and the hardwood grade logs being hauled also because where you live they are simply not as profitable. SYP because is the backbone of many industries. Not only in this hemisphere but the whole planet.

You live in a region which has one of the most cost-efficient growing/harvesting environments for a commodity that has a worldwide demand. SYP is in demand even when housing starts are down because it's a commodity that is the best option for a wide array of markets.

Sunshine, moisture, and soil content play a very large role. The lack of unions doesn't hurt either but I digress.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-30-2009, 08:24 PM
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We don't have live oak around here. I've noted what other saw mill operators have said about it and it aint good. It's not that it don't yield a very good piece of wood...it's simply, due to its hardness, difficult to saw. It's also difficult to dry. Problems include checking and movement. The live oak they were referring tgo is one of the white oaks. It's very hard, heavy and rot resistent.
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