Oaks have spirally arranged leaves with lobed margins. Crucially, oak species are hardwoods, whereas pine is a softwood. It has over 600 species. An oak is a tree in the genus Quercus. The leaves of the oak tree tend to fall off in spring. Step 3. Some woodworkers like to use paste wood filler to smooth over those little clefts before varnishing or painting so the surface will be smoother. Oak also has an a surface that shows small, open-celled surface texture. Some species have serrated leaves or leaves with smooth margins. Step 2. Pine is softer than oak, although some types of pine are harder than others. Oaks bear fruits, known as acorns. Knock on the wood. There are a about 115 species of pine. How to Tell Oak From Pine Wood Step 1. Because oak trees can take well over one hundred years to grow and live for more than 300 years, their timbers are much stronger, heavier and denser than those of pine trees. Pines are trees in the genus Pinus. Oak and pine differ in their grain appearance. Oak is much less prone to scratching or denting. Compare the prices of both types of wood.

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