European White Oak (Quercus robur) is indigenous to the majority of Europe including places like France, Germany, Finland, Ukraine, and Romania. Quercus is the Latin family name for all oaks; Robur means robust and refers to the strength of this species of wood.
A temperate hardwood, it has deep roots and favors heavy, wet soils and full sun at lower to moderate altitudes. It grows to 65-130' in height with trunks that are usually 15-30" in diameter. European oaks generally grow pretty quickly for the first 80-120 years. After that, their growth gradually slows down. Along the way, the tree grows from a slim sapling with smooth bark to a deeply fissured, rough-barked tree of exceptional girth. Decline starts setting in after around three centuries or so. This slow maturation results in a fine, tight grain admired for wine barrels and flooring. European White Oak is an especially heavy and sturdy wood. The fact that it is so hard to make an attractive and long-lasting wood floor. It also does not expand or contract a lot in response to weather conditions. Since it has fairly thin sap timber (.4-1.5"), it produces particularly long and wide boards.
This species of oak measures about 1360 on the Janka hardness rating which shows a timber's relative hardness when compared to other types of timber. European White Oak generally has a tighter grain, smaller growth rings, and more even color than American White Oak (Quercus alba). It ranges in color from light brown to a rich, dark brown. Perhaps most commonly, it's a warm honey shade.
It reacts particularly well to different finishing methods, including fuming. Fuming is the process of exposing timber to ammonia gas in a sealed chamber. This process demands timber, like European White Oak, that is high in tannins. Fumed European White Oak develops a rich, deep color similar to walnut.
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