Oaks produce one of the hardest and most durable timbers on the planet. Even it's Latin name, Quercus Robur, means strength. However it takes up to 150 years before an oak is ready to use in construction. It has been a prized hardwood timber for thousands of years and was the primary material in the building of ships up until the mid-19th century. It remains a popular wood for architectural beams and modern uses of oak include flooring, wine barrels and firewood.