The warm tones and beautiful patterns of oak grain are a major part of why we so often choose the material for our furniture and flooring in our homes. Oak of course also has many other facets, of strength, durability and structure which also attract us to the timber. Both the beauty of the grain and the features of its structure are created as a by product of the way in which the tree grows and the environment that effects that growth.
Tree Growth System
Each year a tree grows an additional layer around the exisiting tree making it taller and wider. This is what produces the familiar rings when a log is sawn in half, each ring refers to a year.
The bark surrounds the tree’s sapwood and heartwood. Outside of this and directly under the bark is the cambium layer. This is the living layer of cells which divide and multiply to produce more sapwood and bark each year. These cambium cells are fed by nutrients which are drawn up out of the roots as sap. They are then converted to sugars by the tree’s leaves via photosynthesis. This sugar rich sap is then fed down through the inner bark to feed the cambium. This is the reason that tree sap is more likely to flow when tree bark is damaged during the growing season. There is little or no sap flowing in the winter when the leaves have fallen.
Variations in Oak Wood Grain
As the tree grows environmental pressures like wind, cold weather, bad and good summers effect each ring of growth. These can cause closely packed rings in the tree cross section or wider or irregular rings. As the tree is sawn into planks along its length these variations in annual ring density and the placement and growth of branches create unique patterns in each piece of wood which make up our oak flooring grain.
The End Result – Oak Flooring Grain
This system of growth and the influences upon it gives us a warm, strong and naturally unique material. This helps to make our homes feel alive and special. Ultimately the oak character enriches our lives and is something we are keen to promote to our customers as a part of our oak flooring range.