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The Post Oak

The Post Oak (Quercus stellata) tree is a hardwood found primarily throughout the eastern half of the United States and Canada. This tree usually only grows to heights of 100 feet, but the branches can spread to over 150 feet when the tree is grown in open pastures. Sapwood from the post oak is post to light brown in color, while the heartwood is a rich light yellow to dark brown.


Cross Section


Radial Section


Tangential Section

Oaks are generally considered some of the finest hardwood timber trees and the cadre of over 450 species also includes ornamentals that decorate lawns, parks, and streets. A majority of the species are evergreen, especially the Asiatic varieties, and the group as a whole falls just short of being evergreen in North America. In fact, many of the American species have leaves that are usually withered, but persist over most of the winter.

The woods of various oak species belonging to the white oak group (Leucobalanus) cannot be distinguished with any great degree of certainty. Post oak wood is widely used for flooring, farm (non-motor) vehicles, mill products (sash, doors, trim, wainscoting, general millwork), furniture (especially desks and tables, chairs, frames for upholstered furniture), kitchen cabinets, fixtures, railroad cars, boxes, crates, and pallets.

Microscopic examination of iron-alum hematoxylin and safranin stained thin sections (see the digital images presented above) reveals a porous wood, with vessels that are often occluded with tyloses. Perforation plates are simple and parenchyma is abundant. The broad rays range from 12 to 30 seriate while the narrow rays are uniseriate. Fibers libriform and fiber tracheids are medium to thick-walled, frequently gelatinous, and fine to medium in texture.

BACK TO THE TREES COLLECTION

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