Why Are Oaks Important?

Oak has a wide range of uses. 

Everywhere you look, you’ll find oaks at work. Oak trees are used to make furniture and flooring, railroad ties and mine timbers, and even the barrels in which many wines and spirits are aged. People have relied on the unique qualities that oaks offer for hundreds of years, and they’re still doing so today.

If oak woodlands decline, less oak will be available for harvest. That could mean economic trouble for the industries that depend on oak timber and the landowners who supply it.

Oak trees provide other important benefits as well. They help stabilize the soil where they grow, and studies have shown they improve the soil’s fertility and protect groundwater quality too.  As a keystone species—a species that plays a critical role in its ecosystem—oaks keep forests healthy by maintaining a richer mix of plants, insects, birds and other animals wherever they grow. And as a source of food and habitat, they’re especially important for wildlife.

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