Shumard Oak vs Red Oak Wood

The Shumard oak tree, also known as quercus shumardii, is a beautiful oak tree that grows in the southeastern United States. The oak wood from this tree is strong, affordable, and great for construction.

The red oak tree is a beautiful tree with spreading branches. Red oak wood is very dense and durable and is great for the constriction of crates, furniture, and lots more.

There are various differences between these two wood types, including the colour, density, and durability of the wood. Red oak wood is much stronger and more durable than Shumard oak.

Shumard Oak vs Red Oak

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 Shumard OakRed Oak
Average Dried Weight46lbs/lt344 lbs/ft3
ColourSapwood is a light, almost white brown colour. HeartwoodAs the name implies, the heartwood is usually reddish-brown or pink. The sapwood is a very light brown colour.
GrainThe grain is straight and coarse. The end-grain is ring-porous.It has a straight grain.
GrowthShumard oak is prone to high shrinkage. This may affect the stability of the wood.Red oak experiences only small amounts of shrinkage.
TextureShumard oak is coarse and uneven, with large open pores.It is hardwood with a coarse texture.
DurabilityShumard oak is not classed as durable because of its susceptibility to pests and insects.It is strong and durable.
DensityThe oak is hard and strong. However, it is not as strong as most hardwood oaks.Red oak is stiff and heavy. It is not very flexible.
WorkabilityCuts, glues, stains, and finishes well. Works well with machines and hand tools.Works with machines well. Takes stains, nails, and finishes well.

Key Differences Between Shumard Oak and Red Oak

Shumard oak and red oak are two of the most used oak wood types. In its lifetime, the Shumard oak tree can grow up to 40 to 60 feet. While the red oak tree grows to about 60 to 75 feet.

Here are some of the main differences between these two oak wood types;


Durability is an essential factor to consider when purchasing any wood. It determines the ability of a product to withstand the effects of time, pressure, and damage. Shumard oak lacks durability and is recognized as a non-durable and perishable wood. This is because Shumard oak rots and decays easily. It can be damaged by contact with moisture or iron. Shumard oak also attracts lots of insects that feed on the wood and reduce its strength.

On the other hand, red oak wood is more durable and less prone to rot and damage. It is a hardwood and has a high durability Janka rating of 1290.


To know which oak wood is best for you between Shumard oak and red oak, you first need to know their various uses. Shumard oak and red oak share some key differences in how they are used in construction.

Here are some uses of Shumard oak;

  • Shumard oak is used in the flooring of buildings.
  • It can be used in making cabinets and furniture.
  • Shumard oak is often used for interior trim.
  • It can be used in making veneers.
  • Shumard oak is great for firewood and splits easily.
  • It can be used in making lumber.

Here are some uses of red oak;

  • Red oak is mostly used for hardwood flooring in houses.
  • It is used in making railway ties and posts.
  • It is used in making beautiful, indoor furniture.
  • Red oak can also be used for veneers and mouldings.
  • It can be used in making cabinets and doors.

Similarities Between Shumard Oak and Red Oak

Besides both coming from oak trees, Shumard oak and red oak have a similar appearance and are sold for similar prices.


Shumard oak and red oak are two of the most popular wood types used for wooden houses. This makes them more affordable than most woods. The price of Shumard oak ranges from 79.99 to 119.99 dollars. Red oak costs about 20 to 250 dollars.

They Stain Well

Both Shumard oak and red oak accept paint and stains well. When painting Shumard oak, be careful it doesn’t come in contact with water as that will stain the wood.

They Both Come From Oak Trees

Shumard oak and red oak are both gotten from oak trees. Shumard oak trees are most common in eastern Kansas, while red oak trees grow in southeast Canada and northwest of the United States. Both trees look very similar and are hard to differentiate.

Pros and Cons of Shumard Oak


  • It has a nice earthy smell most buyers find appealing.
  • Easy to work with using hand and machine tools.
  • Shumard oak comes in a wide range of sizes and thickness.
  • It is one of the less expensive oak wood.
  • It has a beautiful brown colour with reddish tints.


  • Shumard oak is prone to insect infestations and pests.
  • It does not have much resistance against rot and decay.
  • Shumard oak requires lots of maintenance and clean-up.
  • It is not very durable.

Pros and Cons of Red Oak


  • Red oak is easy to sand, as long as you have the right material.
  • It takes stains and paints very well.
  • It is incredibly workable while still being hard and dense.
  • It has a beautiful, distinctive look with multiple shades of colour.
  • Red oak is affordable in comparison to other oaks.


  • Red oak is more susceptible to rot and damage.
  • Dents form easily on red oak wood.
  • Red oak is not very strong thus, it cannot withstand heavy weight.
  • Moisture and water can easily stain the wood.
  • Red oak had open pores.


Before deciding which wood to use, be sure to consider the purpose of the wood, the durability of the wood, how affordable it is, and its strengths and advantages. Both Shumard oak and red oak are excellent choices, and whichever one works best for you depends on your preference.

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