Arguably the hardest of domestic North American lumber, Live Oak is native to Florida, coastal regions of the Southeast USA and west across the southern borders of gulf states into Texas. Reaching massive proportions, Live Oak trees tend to grow twice as wide as they do tall when given space. With heights to 70′ tall and trunk diameters of 4-6′ being common and exceptionally old species up to 10′ in diameter. Live Oak has been sought after by shipbuilders throughout history; the hull of the USS Constitution being a notable example. Nicknamed “Old Ironsides”, cannonballs were reported to have bounced off the hull sides, a testament to the density and strength of Live Oak.
Live Oak lumber is attractive with excellent grain structure, a light to medium brown shades commonly with casts of olive green. When aged properly, Live Oak becomes exceptionally attractive. Excelling in both both interior and exterior projects, Live Oak is a wonderful choice for everything from countertops and tables to jewelry boxes and picture frames. Being one of the hardest woods in North America, Live Oak tends to be more difficult to work with. Cutting requires very sharp blades, sanding takes additional time and the overall heft of larger items requires additional man – or machine – power.
Dry weight: 5.25lbs per board foot
Janka Hardness: 2,680 (see “useful information” tab)