The Missouri White Oak is an ideal tree for wildlife such as gray squirrels, woodpeckers, chickadees, house wrens, cardinals, and blue jays. The hard, durable wood is used to make barrels for aging liquor and wine because of the plastic-like quality found in the cells that make barrels water-tight. Some of the best logs are used as the veneer for paneling and furniture. It is the best known and most commercially valuable tree of the oaks.
Since white oak is a hardwood with incredible strength once it is dry, bowls and dishes are carved from green wood because it is soft and easier to work with. However, many pieces will crack and check during the drying process, especially if they have unique grain, knots or other characteristics that make the wood even more interesting. That possibility makes a resulting piece like this hand-carved leaf a rare find, as it has beautiful grain as well as a knothole and branch bulb.