The Garden Guide

Oak for garden furniture and construction

Oak is in a class of its own as a material for garden furniture and outdoor construction:

  • oak is by far the most durable hardwood from temperate forests
  • oak has a beautiful grain and develops a wonderful silver colour
  • oak becomes smooth and silky to touch
  • oak is rich in associations, as in  'hearts of oak' and 'the oak, when living, monarch of the wood; The English oak, which, dead, commands the flood.
  • oak is very likely to come from sustainable sources, because natural stands of oak were cleared long ago.

To set against these considerations, it should be noted that oak is not as durable outdoors as several of the tropical hardwoods (teak, iroko etc).