An oak’s life is normally from 150-300 years. Trees don’t live forever and they eventually die; most of them become mulch or firewood unless they are specifically harvested to be used for lumber. This seems to be a waste, as many local trees are beautiful hardwoods. I recently acquired several 33″ diameter oaks that had been cut down. I took them to a local sawyer and had them quarter-sawn into 3″ thick planks.
Wood has a very high moisture content and it has to be dried before it can be used in any construction process. This is most often accomplished by exposing the wood to air for many months. Final drying is done in a heated chamber called a wood drying kiln. The wood will spend a long time in the heated and ventilated kiln until it has a moisture content acceptable for construction