A slow growing tree known for its strength. There are different oaks such as English oak or American oak. This sturdy material can last a long time and is used for many purposes, some gardening examples being sleeper flower beds and furniture.
– Oak is a non-endangered durable wood of high strength. (ref)
– It is possible to get FSC certified Oak, which is more sustainable and reliable than non certified woods. (ref)
– The FSC are making efforts to combat illegally logged Oak, helping to ensure its suitability as a material. (ref)
– It can be sourced locally, and locally sourced woods travel less distance, reducing their carbon footprint and energy required to transport the wood. (ref)
– Oak does not need to be kiln dried, an advantage that means less energy is required in its creation. (ref)
– From 2010-2018, the Forestry Commission planted almost 1.7 million Oak trees in the UK, most designated to provide high quality timber in the future. (ref) It is unknown how many will/ have survived, however.
– Sources of Oak can be problematic, UK, American and Australian sources are usually sustainable, however, Poland, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Ukraine, Estonia and France can be problematic in terms of sustainability of the wood and the biodiversity it supports. (ref) Poland’s trees are vulnerable and is being harvested, destroying biodiversity. (ref) A lot of Russia’s logging is legal, however Russian oak is illegally harvested for China, who will use the wood and process it, (ref) hiding its illegal origin and selling the product on EU markets. (ref) Along with this, Russian Oak harvests are replaced with trees that are not Oak. (ref)
– Depending on where the Oak is sourced, it may travel a large distance, increasing the energy consumption and CO2 emissions it takes to get to a garden.
– Oak can be expensive. (ref)
– It is slow growing, potentially taking up to 150 years until it can be harvested. (ref)