Birch is a indigenous hardwood that comes from the genus Betula. There are over a dozen types of birch trees indigenous to north America, however the most common are white birch, yellow birch, and black birch. Yellow birch and also white birch room the two most commonly found in woodworking.

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When birch is pointed out as an choice for good furniture in the unified States, it’s generally yellow birch wood, periodically called golden birch, being referenced. Yellow birch wood is irradiate in color and also smooth-grained, not unlike maple wood, return birch has tendency to yellow much more visibly end time.


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Going earlier to the 1960s and also 1970s, birch wood was supplied quite a little bit in home furnishings and also cabinetry. Nowadays, it’s largely used for practical purposes choose shelving, crates, and also plywood. Back yellow birch wood still gets supplied in furniture today, it’s prized because that its durability and tends to gain tucked away under great of upholstery rather than put on display.


Characteristics of Birch Wood

ColorPale white to reddish-brown or yellow
SourceYellow Birch Tree ( Betula alleghaniensis Britt. )
Density1,260 lbf (5,600 N) ~ above the Janka scale
Cost$3-6 per plank foot
Common UsesPlywood, Crates, Toothpicks, Shelving

Types the Birch Wood

White Birch vs Yellow Birch vs black Birch

Betula alleghaniensis - Yellow Birch

Native to eastern Canada and the east US.

Betula Borealis - north Birch

Native to Vermont, new Hampshire, and Maine.

Betula Caerulea, Betula cordifolia - Blue Birch, Mountain record Birch

Native to the northeastern US and eastern Canada.

Betula Glandulosa - Resin Birch, American Dwarf Birch

Native to the hill regions the the western us and brand-new England, as well as Canada and various parts of the world.

Betula Lenta Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, black color Birch

Native to the east US, Quebec and also Ontario.

Betula boy Dwarf White Birch

Native come the mountains of northern brand-new England and the Adirondacks and eastern Canada.

Betula Murrayana Murray"s Birch

Native come the good Lakes region.

Betula Nana Dwarf Birch, Bog Birch

Native come the northwestern US, components of brand-new England, east Canada, and also other parts of the world.

Betula Neoalaskana Alaskan paper Birch, Alaska Birch, Resin Birch

Native come Alaska and also most of Canada.

Betula Nigra flow Birch, black Birch

Native come the east US.

Betula Occidentalis Water Birch, Red Birch

Native come Alaska and also the west US as well as most that Canada.

Betula Papyrifera record Birch, Canoe Birch, American White Birch

Native to the northern US, Alaska, and also most that Canada.

Betula Populifolia Gray Birch

Native come the northeastern US and eastern Canada.

Betula Uber Virginia Round-Leaf Birch)

Native come Virginia.

Frequently inquiry Questions about Yellow Birch Wood

Although birch timber was provided quite a little bit in the 1960s and also 1970s because that furniture and cabinetry, that isn’t used much today by craftsmen. However, due to the fact that many civilization remember it being in their homes all those years ago, it’s something that gets researched with regularity. A few of the most usual questions about birch wood are answered below.

What color is Birch Wood?

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The most prized part of the tree wherein birch is pertained to is the sapwood or outermost section of the tree. It’s usually much more of a creamy white, however can be virtually a pure white in part cases. It creates a yellowish-red tint v age. The innermost portion, or the heartwood, likewise gets part use. It’s much more of a reddish-brown.

Why does Birch Wood adjust Colors end Time?

Yellow birch timber has numerous uses. It’s among the an ext robust varieties, i m sorry is why it was at first used in furniture. Nowadays, yellow birch lumber is greatly used for utilitarian purposes. It’s still included into furniture because it’s strong, yet typically only in parts that room not seen, such together the framework of one upholstered chair or in shelving.


It’s also worth noting that the trees have other uses. For example, they develop a sap which deserve to be made into syrup. It’s not quite as sweet together maple, however it has actually a adhering to none-the-less. The papery bark gets used as kindling too. Although the wood, itself, doesn’t burn easily, the bark works well to get fires burning and also will also ignite when wet. Oil the wintergreen deserve to be distilled indigenous the bark as well.

What go the Grain pattern of Birch lumber Look Like?

Birch timber is frequently straight-grained through a fine and also even texture, though part pieces have an ext of a wavy grain and others might possess a curl quite prefer cherry.

Is Birch lumber a Hardwood or a Softwood?

The term “hardwood” refers to wood which originates from a dicot tree, such together a broadleaf variety, while the ax “softwood” way the wood originates from a gymnosperm, such together a needle variety. It doesn’t necessarily relate come how durable the hardwood is, but it’s often an indicator.

Those acquainted with what a birch tree watch like deserve to then easily identify it together a dicot or hardwood based upon its leaves. Others in the exact same group encompass cherry, oak, walnut, and maple. Top top the upper and lower reversal side, alternatives like fir, cedar, and also pine, have actually needles. They’re gymnosperm trees, and thus space softwoods.

How Dense/Hard is Birch Wood?

To recognize the yes, really hardness or trust of any type of given lumber type, lumber is assessed on the Janka Scale. During a Janka Test, a small metal sphere is pressed right into the lumber until that halfway embedded. The lot of pressure needed to do so is recorded and also the timber will then have actually a “pounds that force” rating or “Janka” value.


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In the instance of Yellow Birch wood, it takes 1,260 pounds of pressure to embed the ball, therefore it’s rated 1,260 lbf or 1,260 Janka. It would certainly literally take it the weight of several grown adult to cause far-reaching damage to a piece of yellow birch wood, so that is extremely durable. The said, it only beats out black color cherry and black walnut through a little margin. Red oak, ash, white oak, and sugar maple all top it.

Where does Yellow Birch wood Come From?

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Photo by man Price top top Unsplash

Although over there are countless varieties that birch across the globe, most birch in the joined States originates from the yellow birch tree, likewise known by the clinical name Betula alleghaniensis Britt.

Where carry out Yellow Birch tree Grow?

Yellow birch tree grow throughout the east side of phibìc America. They’re aboriginal as much north as Quebec and also as far south as Georgia, however stop farming in a western direction in ~ Minnesota and Iowa.

How big Are Yellow Birch Trees?

It’s typical for yellow birch tree to reach 60-80 feet tall, though a few will fight 100 feet. Castle can prosper to have a 3-foot diameter together well. That being said, if left come their very own devices, these trees will live because that 150 year or more, through some surviving as lengthy as 300 years.

How have the right to I tell if the Furniture I have is Yellow Birch Wood?

Particularly wherein the irradiate sapwood is concerned, yellow birch wood has a unique color that makes it a bit less complicated to distinguish. The lack of luster is frequently a dead giveaway too. When these attributes are paired with a wavy or curl grain, it i do not care even much more apparent.

The difficulty, however, is the yellow birch lumber is no an high-quality wood, so possibilities are nobody is going to shot to happen off one more wood type as gift birch. The inverse is not necessarily true, so it’s always better to get wood furniture straight from the craftsman or a trustworthy retailer come ensure authenticity.

Can Birch timber Furniture walk Outside?

It’s never a great idea to put solid wood outdoors. Also if the does have a safety coating, the aspects will eventually cause damage and also maintaining pieces needs a substantial amount the time. When it comes to yellow birch wood, it’s even more important to store it indoors. That is highly-susceptible to rot and also infestation.

Those hope to create a comfortable the end living room would carry out much far better with a wood-look product, such together the Polywood collection offered by vermouth Woods Studios. While it has actually the appearance and also feel of herbal wood, it’s actually made that all-weather recycle high-density plastic. This way it have the right to withstand the aspects without any maintenance. We’re so i was sure it will last and also maintain the beauty that we offer a lifetime quality guarantee.

Is Birch lumber Eco-friendly? are Birch trees Endangered?

Yellow birch trees fall into the lowest-risk endangerment category. The species, together a whole, is secure. However, the state the Illinois considers it to be endangered, an interpretation their yellow birch counts are dwindling. This is not seen in other parts the the country.

Beyond this, it’s safe to take into consideration birch timber to be eco-friendly. The trees thrive in variety throughout north America and, in choosing any kind of local robust herbal wood product, consumers are preventing “junk” furniture from winding increase in landfills and also minimizing your carbon footprint.

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What come Look for when Purchasing Birch Furniture

Again, many craftsmen have actually moved away from utilizing birch wood because other wood varieties can deliver comparable coloring or serial patterns. However, those searching for herbal wood furniture the any type should constantly look because that the following:

Authenticity: Is it solid yellow birch wood as protest to a veneer?Craftsmanship: Is the piece constructed well?Eco-Friendliness: Is the timber sustainably-sourced, ideally from a regional producer?

Alternatives to Birch Wood

True, some civilization are simply drawn to yellow birch wood due to the fact that it evokes nostalgia, and also in this cases, it’s quite likely options simply won’t do. However, those attractive to it because that the color and durability will likely be also happier through maple, when those attracted to few of the an ext uncommon grain patterns or reddish hues will certainly appreciate cherry. Oak have the right to be on the lighter side as well, so it might be a great alternative for some too.


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