Dear Woodlot Owners, Saw Mill Owners, and Wood Workers:

We're pleased to share an exciting new project of Cornell University with support from the NY Department of Agriculture and Markets. This project will explore the potential to expand the use of NY grown white oak for barrels used by the wine and spirits industry. The project needs small quantities of white oak boards from multiple regions of the state. Small, approximately 1”, cubes of white oak will be used with wine to experimentally test for the development of flavor profiles. Related, we are seeking similar dimensions of American chestnut, white ash, black cherry and black locust. Please see the details below, and email if you think you may be able to assist. Please feel free to share this with others who might be able to assist.

Ideal white oak (and the other hardwoods listed) boards:

Tree originated in NY, hopefully with the township known

Known to be white oak (Q. alba) or identified to another species (other than chestnut oak)

About 75 - 100 cubic inches (for example, a 1” x 4” x 20”, but any dimension is fine)

Air dried for 2 years

Quarter-sawn such that the majority of annual rings cross from one board face to the other board face

We’re sorry, but at this point we are not able to provide any samples of wine or spirits in exchange for your donation of wood. We’ll let you know when that is possible!

Thanks for your consideration. Please contact us with any questions.


Peter Smallidge (, 607-592-3640 NYS Extension Forester

Anna Katharine Mansfield (, Associate Professor of Food Science

Jen Neubauer (, Graduate Research Assistant

Last updated October 13, 2020