Pin oak vs Red oak | Which is best for you?

Pin Oak

Pin oak (Quercus palustris) is native to North America. It is the most commonly used for landscaping, firewood. Its properties are similar to red oak. Pin oak grows very fast and has beautiful fall colors and winter interest. It also has the ability to provide dense shade, such as willow oak.

Red Oak

Red Oak(Quercus rubra) is native to North America. It has open grain. North red oak and southern red oak are the most common species in America. Northern red oak is one of the most acceptable wood species for carpenters in North America. 

#Pin OakRed Oak
Scientific Name:Quercus palustrisQuercus rubra
Tree Size:50–75 ft (15–23 m) tall80–115 ft (25–35 m) tall
Trunk diameter:2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m)3-6 ft (1-2 m)
Dried Weight:44 lbs / ft3 (705 kg / m3)45 lbs / ft3 (730 kg / m3)
Janka Hardness:1,500 lbf (6,650 N)1,220 lbf (5,430 N)
Uses:Cabinetry, furniture, landscapingCabinetry, furniture, interior trim, flooring, and veneer
Availability:easily availableEasily available
Wood Color:light to medium reddish-brownlight brown to pinkish-reddish


Pin Oak Uses

Landscaping: Pin oak wood is heavy, strong, and hard. It is widely used for landscaping around highways and other many places.

Wood fuel: Pin oak is suitable for use as wood fuel. such as firewood, charcoal, chips, sheets, pellets, and sawdust. Pin oak has a 25.9 BTU value. It is quite good value. So it produces high heat during burning.

Flooring: Pin Oak Wood has great hardness, So it is a great choice for flooring projects. In Hard Wood, the chances of getting scratches and dents are very less.

Coffe Power:  Native Americans would like to grind the acorns to make coffee.

Medicine: Pin oak has some medicinal uses. It has been used to treat bleeding, chronic diarrhea, and dysentery.

Red Oak Uses

Hardwood flooring: Red oak is known for its workability and stability. It is widely used for making durable flooring.

Ornamental Tree: Red oak Tree is used as an ornamental tree. Its pinkish-reddish color gives great looks.

Commercial Projects: Red oak is the perfect wood species for commercial projects such as fence posts, railroad ties, floors, and cabinets.

Firewood:  Red oak is used to make charcoal. Red oak burns slowly and produces high heat.

Color / Appearance

Pin Oak Red Oak
The heartwood of pin oak wood is light to medium reddish-brown. Whereas sapwood (the inner part of the wood) is almost white.
It has medium-to-large pores and fairly coarse grain. It is not suitable for outdoor applications
Heartwood is light to medium brown and the sapwood is white to light brown. The red oak pores are so large and open. So it absorbs moisture very fast. Therefore, it is not suitable for outdoor purposes.

Pin Oak vs Red Oak Workability

Wood workability
Wood workability

Pin oak and red oak both are easy to work, glue, stain, and finishes very well. They produce good results with hand and machine tools. 

The steam-bending properties of red oak wood are much better. It can be easily folded into complex structures. Glues, stains, and finishes well. 

Rot Resistance Properties of Pin oak vs Red oak

Pin oak and Red oak both have poor insect resistance properties. Due to constant exposure to water, it becomes discolored and stained. It is not durable in contact with the ground.

Price and Availability

Red oak and pin oak both are available at moderately priced. Pin oak is Slightly less expensive than White Oak, Red Oak. Thicker 8/4 planks or quartersawn boards are slightly more expensive per board foot.

The price of any wood depends on the basis of its grade. As grade A is more expensive and grade C is cheaper. Because Grade A wood does not have any defects. Whereas Grade C may have some defects.

Pin Oak vs Red Oak Firewood


All oaks are considered good firewood. Pin oak is harder and heavier than Red oak. It has 25.9 BTUs per cord value, So it produces more heat and less smoke. While burning Pin oak, there may be some odor that can be ignored.

Red oak can also be good firewood. A straight piece of wood splits easily. During burning, it also generates heat similar to pin oak. Its BTU value is 24.6 which is close to Pin oak.

Growth Rate of Pin oak and Red oak 

Pin oak and red oak both are medium to fast-growing trees. It grows about 12 to 24 inches (1 to 2 feet) per year.

Pin Oak vs Red Oak Tree

Pin Oak TreeRed oak Tree
Pin oak trees can reach about 50-80 ft tall. It is a more dense, conical tree. Therefore it can be used as a shady tree.
Pin oak grows well in moist, rich, well-drained, acidic soil, and is extremely intolerant of high pH soils.

Leaves: It is 3 to 6 inches long bristle tipped, deeply 5 to 7 lobed with circular or U-shaped sinuses.

Bark: The bark of a young tree is smooth and light gray to brown while an older tree has gray-brown and slightly ridged bark.

Acorns: Pin oak acorns are hemisphere-shaped, light brown, striped with dark vertical lines. Pin Oak acorns are smaller and rounded.

Tree Lifespan: Its lifespan is between 150 and 200 years.
Red oak trees can reach about 80-115 ft tall. The spread of its tree is more because its branches are longer.
Red oak growth in moist, well-drained loamy soil, and acidic soils with a pH range of 4 to 7.

Leaves:  Can be 5 to 8 inches long with 7 to 9 pointy lobes. The leaf margin is smooth. The upper surface of the leaves is dull green and the lower surface is paler. The leaves are deeply sinuate to lobed.

Bark: The bark of the young man is light gray and smooth. Whereas the bark of a mature tree is brown to nearly black, as the tree ages, the bark becomes deeply ridged and furrowed.

Acorns: The length of the acorns of red oak is about 1 inch long. Red Oak acorns are larger and oval.

Tree Lifespan: A healthy red oak can live to be around 350 to 400 years old.