White Oak : White Oak Building, Construction, and Basket Making

White Oak Cabinet

White Oak Cabinet (Daderot)

White oaks have very durable wood, and are therefore used in many building projects, such as furniture, floors, firewood, cabinets, fence posts, and barrels. White oak is important because of its durable, heavy wood. Currently, white oak is the most valuable timber oak. A major industry that uses white oak wood is whiskey companies, because they use the wood to make whiskey barrels. White oak is also an excellent firewood because it is strong and can keep a fire going for a long time. The furniture made from white oak ranges in color because white oak wood holds finishes well, but without any dye white oak wood is often light in color. The wood is very stiff and makes strong and durable furniture, floors, or other construction projects.

White Oak Basket

Cherokee White Oak Basket (US National Archives and Records Administration, September)

White oak has also been known to be good for basket making. Cherokees are known for using white oak bark to weave baskets. White oak bark was ideal because it made tough and enduring baskets. The baskets were often dyed with extract from other trees. When the settlers came, they used white oak for many items, including roofs, wheels, coffins, and instruments. European settlers adopted the Cherokee basket making and used white oak bark to make strong, durable baskets. Yet, the settlers used their own methods and techniques to make baskets, so their baskets differ greatly from what Cherokee baskets looked like.