Common throughout the northern and middle states and Canada, the red oak attains a large size only on good soils; the wood is of little value, being coarse and porous, but it is largely used for cask-staves; the bark is a valuable tanning material.
The barrels employed in the transport of petroleum products are made of well-seasoned white-oak staves bound by six or eight iron hoops.
They are coated internally with glue, and painted in the well-known colours, blue staves and white heads.
These measures were largely successful, but in 1902 the export of oak staves was discontinued owing to a shortage of supply.
As regards the development of the form of the pastoral staff, there are four principal types: (I) staves with a simple crook, the oldest form, which survived in Ireland until the 12th century; (2) staves with a ball or knob at the top, a rare form which did not long survive as a pastoral staff; (3) staves with a horizontal crook, so-called Tau-staves, used especially by abbots and surviving until the 13th century; (4) staves with crook bent inwards.
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