We get asked all the time 🙂
about differences between American white oak and Tasmanian (or Tassie) oak.
American oak, AKA white oak
This evergreen tree is found in Mexico and Central America. Unfortunately, the natural forests where it grows are declining in number due to unsustainable farming, so make sure that your white oak is certified plantation timber from North America. At Mubu we take this to heart and only source our timber from local Aussie suppliers that bear the marks of responsible forestry and sustainable forest management.
American oak has a very tight grain pattern which runs in a v-shape, compared to the straight lines of the Tasmanian oak.
It’s a hard wood, strong and enduring. It’s also, thanks to its high tannin content, highly resistant to fungal and insect attacks. American oak is very water resistant and it can be polished or stained to reach your ideal look and finish.
This oak has been used throughout history due to its durability and attractive graining. The UK’s House of Commons debate room has American oak panelling (if only those panels could talk).
Tasmanian oak, aka tassie oak, mountain ash and stringy bark
Tasmanian oak is actually three species of eucalyptus species native to Tasmania – E. regnans, E. obliqua and E. delegatensis.
The trees grow naturally in Tasmania because it has a unique and very welcoming climate and environment. The island has some of the world’s best cool temperate hardwood forests and is growing its plantations.
Tassie oak comes in lots of colours, from light to medium brown, often with a pink tinge. The grain of the tassie ash is very straight and fine, which is why this particular wood is so attractive – it offers high consistency.
While tassie oak is a very durable hardwood, it’s not especially water-resistant so it should only be used for indoor furniture and fittings. It accepts staining treatments well and can also be highly polished to bring out the shade and grain.
As a very versatile timber, tassie oak is great for cabinets, skirting boards and bench tops. Its warmth and neutral shades help it to blend in with lots of designs and colour schemes.