The maple tree and the oak tree both offer highly sought-after timber. Both of these types of wood are very useful to many different manufacturers of wood products. Maple and oak trees are prevalent in many parts of the world. North America, Europe and Asia all have very active and productive markets for the timber of these trees.
Maple trees tend to grow to 30 to 130 ft. in their lifetime. Some of the largest species of this trees are highly sought after for their hardwood. North America is home to the valuable sugar maple tree. Europe is known for the sycamore maple tree. The ancient Romans prized maple; its wood was used to construct many of their tables.
There are many uses for maple tree wood. The wood from a sugar maple is the preferred wood option in manufacturing bowling pins, bowling lanes and butcher's blocks. Baseball bats are sometimes manufactured using maple. Maple is also known to carry sound well, which is why it is the choice in the production of many musical instruments. Most drums and guitar necks are made of maple. Wood from maple can be made into charcoal because it works great as a fuel.
Oak is known for being a very dense wood, which contributes to its strength. An attractive feature of oak wood is that it has a high tannin content, which makes it somewhat resistant to fungal attack. When they reach maturity, oak trees can take in nearly fifty gallons of water per day.
Oak used to be widely used in Europe for ship construction. This type of wood is presently used to make different types of furniture, flooring and timber frames for buildings. It is also the choice material from which to make many wine, whiskey and scotch barrels. It is a matter of debate whether an oak wood from America affects wine flavor diferently than an oak from France. Like maple, oak wood is used in the production of some instruments. Yamaha drums use Japanese oak because it produces a louder tone than maple.
Maple and oak woods are both sought after for various reasons. They are both considered to be hardwoods and both produce desirable grain patterns. Oak wood can be red or white, with a prominent grain; maple is light-colored with a fine texture. Both woods take a stain well. Quality furniture and other products can be made from both types of wood; the choice depends on personal perference.