Wood Characteristics
of Selected Hardwood Trees
Native to North Carolina, USA

White Oak

Picture of white oak tree in Iredell County, NC

Quercus alba King of the Forest

In the picture above, Frank is leaning against a white oak tree (in Iredell County, NC) that appears to be about two hundred fifty years old. The circumference of this oak at chest-high measurement (CHM) is exactly 16 feet. This tree is still very young, relatively speaking. Some white oaks are said to have lived from 800 to 1,000 years. For example, The Charter Oak, that once stood in Connecticut, is the oldest known white oak in the continental United States of America. It had a reported annual growth ring count of 1,000 after it was felled by a storm in August 1857. Another old white oak tree was the Wye Oak at Wye Mills, Maryland. It was toppled during a thunderstorm in June 2002. It was more than 450 years old, and the circumference (CHM) of the trunk measured in excess of 30'. The oldest known white oak in North Carolina (400th birthday celebration in 2007) is located in Tanglewood Park, at the Manor House, in Clemmons (Forsyth County).

To learn more about The Charter Oak, The Wye Oak, and The Tanglewood Oak, click the picture above.

The best example I could find concerning the use of white oak was in the construction of "Old Ironsides" - the USS Constitution. To learn about her construction and how she became known as "Old Ironsides" go to Old Ironsides.

For information about white oak wood characteristics, go to White Oak Characteristics.

Post Oak

Picture of a Post Oak in summer.

Summer and Autumn

Post Oak in Iredell County NC in Autumn

Quercus stellata

The oldest known living Post Oak is located near Keystone Lake in Oklahoma, USA. Its life began prior to 1610. One of the oldest known Post Oak trees in North Carolina is located in Greensboro, Guilford County. 

The Post Oak pictured above is located in Iredell County, NC. We do not know its age, but, considering that the Post Oak is a slow-growing tree and where it is located, this tree could be over 100 years old.

To learn more about wood characteristics of the Post Oak, please go to the White Oak Characteristics page. You can do this by clicking on the picture or using the link at the bottom of the page.

Chestnut Oak

Picture of Chestnut Oak (Quercus Montana) in summer.

Summer and Late Autumn

Picture of Chestnut Oak Tree

Quercus montana

Picture of three small Chestnut Oak trees - Quercus montana

Because of the location of the parent tree, it is very difficult to get a good picture. The picture above is of three young Chestnut Oak trees that I started from acorns dropped by the big tree. These little trees show the leaf of the Chestnut Oak.

My search for the oldest known Chestnut Oak led me to our own home state at a place called Highlands. Highlands, North Carolina, is located on a plateau in the Nantahala National Forest (southern Appalachian mountains). This town rests at an elevation of 3,832 feet, within 10 miles of the place where Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina meet.

To learn more about the Highlands Chestnut Oak forest, go to Old Oak Trees - Highlands and read the next to the last post.

To learn about white oak wood characteristics, click on the picture or use the link at the bottom of the page.

Chinquapin Oak

Picture of Chinquapin Oak - 150 years old - by Kim Scarborough

Quercus muehlenbergii

4 July 2006- Photo of a 150-year-old chinkapin oak (Chinquapin Oak) (Author=Kim Scarborough |Permission=CC-By-SA-2.5}, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

I selected this picture of a Chinquapin Oak because Chinquapin is not native to Iredell County, NC, and is, in fact, rare in North Carolina. I have no idea where I could take a picture, locally. If you wish to see an enlarged picture, go to Chinquapin Oak - Quercus muehlenbergii

The oldest recorded living Chinquapin Oak that I found is located in the Inner Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, USA. It was core dated at 398 years old. To learn more about this, and other very old Chinquapin oaks in Kentucky, please visit Native Tree Society/Kentucky.

Click the picture to go to white oak wood characteristics, or use the link at the bottom of the page.

Overcup Oak

Picture of group of Overcup Oak trees.

Quercus lyrata

Picture of Overcup Oak tree leaves.

Before the tree toppled in 1972 in Patuxent, Maryland, an Overcup Oak with a 5-foot diameter was the largest for its species for the whole USA. Another Overcup Oak, among several standing near the old downed champion, is 4 feet 7 inches in diameter and presently listed as the second largest in Maryland. The champion Overcup Oak of Mississippi is located in Sharkey County. It has a circumference of 19'9", a crown measuring 89'3" and its height is 124'. 

To learn more about the Overcup Oak, click the picture above or the White Oak details link below.

Details of White Oak Wood Characteristics

Wood Characteristics to Homepage