Black Oak vs. Red Oak

How are black oak and red oak different? There are hundreds of species of oak trees of which…

How are black oak and red oak different?

There are hundreds of species of oak trees of which black oak and red oak are only two. These two species and very sturdy and coherent, which is why they are commonly used in the construction industry and sold in lumber yards.

Black Oak

Black oak, also known as Eastern Black Oak, has the scientific name of Quercus Velutina. In comparison with other oak trees, this one is small. It reaches a height of about 25 meters and is only about 0.9 meters in diameter. Young black oaks can be identified by the bark, which is gray in color and is uniform. Mature trees have black bark that is wrinkled in places and is thicker.

Red Oak

The red oak tree, Quercus Ruba, can grow to a height of 43 meters and have a diameter that ranges from 0.5 to one meter. These oak trees grow very quickly and in ten years of growth they can be about 5 or 6 meters in height. The bark on these trees is shiny and has stripes that extend down the trunk.

The difference between black and red oak trees

Black oaks are much smaller than red oaks. They reach a maximum height of about 82 feet, but red oaks reach heights that are almost double that at 141 feet. The bark of the red oak is light gray, shiny and has stripes. The bark of the black oak is gray in young trees and then it turned to a red-orange color as they mature. The bark of the mature trees is thick and wrinkled.

Red oak is generally used for building cabinets black oak is generally used in flooring. They are both used in building houses and buildings because they are durable and long-lasting. They are also resistant to insect infestation.


  1. Black oak has red-orange bark and red oak has gray bark.
  2. Black oak is used for flooring and red oak is used for building cabinets.
  3. Black oak trees are much smaller than red oak trees.


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