Post oak vs Live oak vs White Oak | Which is the Best for Smoking?

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Post oak vs Live oak vs White Oak | Which is the Best for Smoking?
Post oak vs Live oak vs white oak

Post Oak (Quercus stellata) also called iron oak, is native to the Eastern United States. It is also known as iron oak. Its ability to grow in dry sites. It is a tree of shorter length than other oak. It is resistant to decay, therefore it is used for railroad ties, siding, planks, and many.

Live oak (Quercus Virginiana) is native to the Southeastern United States. So it is also known as southern live oak. Live oak is not true evergreens. Because it drops its leaves before new leaves emerge in the spring. Live oak is hard, durable. So it is used to make ships but the primary uses for live oaks are providing food and shelter for wild animals.

White oak (Quercus alba) is native to eastern and central North America. It is one of the most famous species of oak. Their lifespan is about 200 to 300 years. It gives acorns which are valuable for rabbits, squirrels, deer, and other wild animals. White oak wood is used to make woodcraft, musical instruments, and oaks barrels.

#Post OakLive OakWhite Oak
Scientific Name:Quercus stellataQuercus virginianaQuercus alba
Tree Height:10–15 m (33–49 ft) tall 12-18 m (40-60 ft) tall24–30 m(80 to 100 feet )
Trunk Diameter:1-3 ft (.3-1 m) trunk diameter4-6 ft (1.2-1.8 m) trunk diameter3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameter
Dried Weight:47 lbs / ft3 (750 kg / m3)63 lbs / ft3 (1,000 kg / m3)47 lbs / ft3 (755 kg / m3)
Janka Hardness:1,350 lbf (5,990 N)2,680 lbf (12,920 N)1,350 lbf (5,990 N)
Workability:Good workabilityOverall goodGreat workability
Rot Resistance:Good resistance to decayvery good resistance to decayvery good resistance to decay and very durable
Uses:Fence posts, cabinetry, furnitureCabinetry, furniture, interior trimflooring, boatbuilding, barrels, and veneer
The difference between Post oak, Live oak and White oak

Post oak vs Live oak vs White oak Uses

Post-Oak Uses

  1. ExteriorApplications: Post oak has excellent natural decay resistance. Therefore it is the best choice for fence posts, outdoor furniture, and decking. Post oak got its name because it is widely used for fence posts.
  2. Interior Applications: Post oak can handle weight quite well so it is suitable for construction timbers, stair risers, veneers, particleboard, and flooring.
  3. Food: It is used for wildlife food for deer, turkey, squirrels, and other animals, but because nuts contain tannin, it is toxic to cattle. 

Live Oak Uses

  1. Furniture: The Janka hardness of live oak is 2,680 lbf (12,920 N) and dried weight 63 lbs / ft3 (1,000 kg / m3) which proves that it is a strong and high-density wood. Therefore it is best for wood flooring, boatbuilding, barrels, and veneer.
  2. Shady tree: The live oak tree crown is very dense, making it valuable for shade. So it is planted on the park and roadside. Being dense, it is suitable for making nests for animals like birds and squirrels.
  3. Foods: It provides large-scale food to various species of wild animals such as wood duck, yellow-bellied sapsucker, wild turkey, black bear, squirrel.

White Oak Uses

  1. Food: The white oak also gives acorns like the post and live oak, although its acorns consume rabbits, squirrels, and deer as well as humans.
  2. Woodcraft: white oak is good water and rot resistance. It is therefore the preferred wood for coopers to make barrels, wooden casks, buckets, tubes, and other similar products. It is widely used by the Japanese as martial arts for some weapons, like bokken and jo.
  3. Medicine: White oak bark is very beneficial for medicine. The bark is used as a tea for arthritis, diarrhea, colds, fever, cough, and bronchitis. 
  4. Musical instruments: White oak is also used to make musical instruments. It creates the mellow sound in banjo and other instruments.

Post oak vs Live oak vs White oak for Smoking


If you want a slightly sweet test in meat, then post oak and white oak can be a better option for you. Because both these wood give the smoke a slightly sweet, vanilla-tinged flavor similar to a Kentucky bourbon. Post Oak is the finest wood for the smoke. It is very liked in Texas. It burns well for a long time and It gives me very slow heat.

If you are selecting Live oak for smoking, always select two years old or younger live oak tree. Because this wood still has a low weight and fresh taste. After cutting the wood, leave it for at least 5 months. After that cut it into small pieces, a small piece is always better for smoking.

Image by Artur Łuczka from Pixabay

Post oak vs Live Oak vs White oak Identification


The post oak is a medium-sized tree with a broad. Its tree length is about 10–15 m. Its tree length is shorter than live and white oak. It is found in a dry place and not required much moisture for its growth.

The live oak tree is medium-sized, 40–60 ft (12–18 m) tall, 4–6 ft (1.2–1.8 m) trunk diameter, Which is longer than post oak and shorter than white oak.

The length of the white oak tree is larger than the post, live oak. It is 65–85 ft (20–25 m) tall, 3–4 ft (1–1.2 m) trunk diameter. It lives for 200 to 300 years.


The leaves of Post oak are a very distinctive, cross-shape, usually 5-lobed with the two middle lobes opposite, Leaves is 4–7 inches long,  and 3–4 inches wide.

Live oak leaves are usually narrow to a long oval and are stiff. That may be as long as 5 to 6inches. Live oaks drop their leaves in the spring. It is not true evergreen.

White oak leaves are simple and alternately arranged on the stems. The length of the leaf is about 4 to 8.5 inches long and 2.75 to 4.5 inches (7.0–11.4 cm) wide. 


The flowering of post oak occurs in April – May month, male and female flowers come in the same tree. The male flower is larger in size than the female flower.

Live oak male flowers are green-hanging catkins and the flowers are about 3 – 4 inches (7.5–10 cm) long.

White Oaks flowers come in may month and it is monoecious, So they have separate male and female flowers. Male flowers are yellow-green and female flowers are more reddish-green. The flower is two and a half to three inches long. 


Post oak fruits occur in September – October month, The acorns are 1.5–2 cm (0.59–0.79 in) long and are mature in their first summer.

Live oak has small acorns. .4 – 1 inch (1 – 2.5 cm) has a length, it is shiny and tan-brown to black. Live oak acorns can be eaten like nuts

White oak fruits grow about 0.5 to 1 inch (13–25 mm) in length, falling in early October. The acorn is different from the others Oak’s because the cap of the acorn looks bubbly.


The young post oak bark is smooth and light brown, narrowly elevated near the oak tree. Gets darker and rougher over time.

Live oak has dark to light grayish colored bark, thick and long-lasting. It has also become dark and rough over time.

The bark of white oak ranges from light gray to dark gray, sometimes it is also white. The bark of branches first in bright green, later red-green, and finally in light brown.

Read also Red Oak vs White Oak | Which is the Best for Furniture and Firewood?

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