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

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When birch is mentioned as an alternative for good furniture in the joined States, it’s commonly yellow birch wood, sometimes called gold birch, being referenced. Yellow birch wood is irradiate in color and also smooth-grained, no unlike maple wood, return birch tends to yellow an ext visibly end time.


Going earlier to the 1960s and 1970s, birch timber was used quite a bit in home furnishings and cabinetry. Nowadays, it’s largely used for utilitarian purposes choose shelving, crates, and also plywood. Return yellow birch timber still gets offered in furniture today, it’s prized for its durability and tends to get tucked away under great of upholstery rather than placed on display.

Characteristics the Birch Wood

ColorPale white come reddish-brown or yellow
SourceYellow Birch Tree ( Betula alleghaniensis Britt. )
Density1,260 lbf (5,600 N) on 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 color Birch

Betula alleghaniensis - Yellow Birch

Native to east Canada and also the east US.

Betula Borealis - north Birch

Native come Vermont, new Hampshire, and also Maine.

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

Native come the northeastern US and eastern Canada.

Betula Glandulosa - Resin Birch, American Dwarf Birch

Native to the mountain regions the the western us and brand-new England, and also Canada and various components of the world.

Betula Lenta Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, black Birch

Native come the eastern US, Quebec and Ontario.

Betula young Dwarf White Birch

Native come the hills of northern brand-new England and the Adirondacks as well as eastern Canada.

Betula Murrayana Murray"s Birch

Native come the great Lakes region.

Betula Nana Dwarf Birch, Bog Birch

Native come the northwestern US, parts of new England, eastern Canada, and other components of the world.

Betula Neoalaskana Alaskan paper Birch, Alaska Birch, Resin Birch

Native come Alaska and also most the Canada.

Betula Nigra river Birch, black Birch

Native come the eastern US.

Betula Occidentalis Water Birch, Red Birch

Native come Alaska and the west US and also most of Canada.

Betula Papyrifera paper Birch, Canoe Birch, American White Birch

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

Betula Populifolia Gray Birch

Native to the northeastern US and also eastern Canada.

Betula Uber Virginia Round-Leaf Birch)

Native come Virginia.

Frequently inquiry Questions around Yellow Birch Wood

Although birch hardwood was supplied quite a bit in the 1960s and 1970s because that furniture and cabinetry, it isn’t used much today by craftsmen. However, because many people remember it being in their residences all those year ago, it’s something that gets researched v regularity. A few of the most common questions around birch wood space answered below.

What color is Birch Wood?


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

Why does Birch Wood readjust Colors end Time?

Yellow birch lumber has plenty of uses. It’s one of the much more robust varieties, i beg your pardon is why the was at first used in furniture. Nowadays, yellow birch wood is mainly used for utilitarian purposes. It’s still incorporated into furniture since it’s strong, however typically just in parts that room not seen, such as the structure of an upholstered chair or in shelving.

It’s additionally worth noting that the trees have other uses. Because that example, they produce a sap which have the right to be made right into syrup. It’s not quite as sweet as maple, but it has a adhering to none-the-less. The papery bark gets offered as kindling too. Return the wood, itself, doesn’t burn easily, the bark functions well to obtain fires burning and will even ignite when wet. Oil of wintergreen deserve to be distilled native the bark as well.

What go the Grain pattern of Birch timber Look Like?

Birch hardwood is generally straight-grained with a fine and even texture, though part pieces have more of a wavy grain and others may possess a curl quite favor cherry.

Is Birch timber a Hardwood or a Softwood?

The hatchet “hardwood” describes wood which originates from a dicot tree, such together a broadleaf variety, if the term “softwood” means the wood originates from a gymnosperm, such together a needle variety. It doesn’t necessarily relate to how sturdy the hardwood is, but it’s often an indicator.

Those familiar with what a birch tree looks like can then quickly identify it as a dicot or hardwood based on its leaves. Others in the exact same group encompass cherry, oak, walnut, and maple. Top top the flip side, choices like fir, cedar, and pine, have actually needles. They’re gymnosperm trees, and also thus room softwoods.

How Dense/Hard is Birch Wood?

To identify the actual hardness or trust of any given timber type, hardwood is assessed on the Janka Scale. Throughout a Janka Test, a little metal round is pressed right into the wood until the halfway embedded. The lot of pressure needed to do so is recorded and also the lumber will then have a “pounds that force” rating or “Janka” value.


In the case of Yellow Birch wood, it takes 1,260 pounds of force to embed the ball, for this reason it’s rated 1,260 lbf or 1,260 Janka. It would certainly literally take the weight of numerous grown adults to cause significant damage come a item of yellow birch wood, so the is extremely durable. The said, it only beats out black cherry and black walnut through a tiny margin. Red oak, ash, white oak, and also sugar maple all height it.

Where does Yellow Birch lumber Come From?


Photo by john Price top top Unsplash

Although there are plenty of varieties of birch throughout the globe, many birch in the united States comes from the yellow birch tree, likewise known by the clinical name Betula alleghaniensis Britt.

Where execute Yellow Birch tree Grow?

Yellow birch tree grow throughout the eastern side of phibìc America. They’re indigenous as far north together Quebec and as far south as Georgia, however stop cultivation in a western direction at Minnesota and Iowa.

How huge Are Yellow Birch Trees?

It’s usual for yellow birch tree to reach 60-80 feet tall, despite a few will hit 100 feet. Lock can thrive to have actually a 3-foot diameter together well. That being said, if left to their very own devices, this trees will certainly live because that 150 year or more, v some surviving as lengthy as 300 years.

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

Particularly whereby the irradiate sapwood is concerned, yellow birch wood has actually a unique shade that provides it a bit much easier to distinguish. The lack of luster is frequently a dead giveaway too. As soon as these functions are paired through a wavy or curly grain, it i do not care even much more apparent.

The difficulty, however, is the yellow birch hardwood is no an expensive wood, so chances are nobody is walking to try to pass off an additional wood type as gift birch. The station is no necessarily true, therefore it’s always far better to get wood furniture directly from the craftsman or a trusted retailer come ensure authenticity.

Can Birch hardwood Furniture go Outside?

It’s never ever a an excellent idea to put solid wood outdoors. Even if the does have actually a safety coating, the facets will eventually reason damage and maintaining pieces needs a considerable amount of time. As soon as it pertains to yellow birch wood, it’s even an ext important to store it indoors. That is highly-susceptible to rot and infestation.

Those hope to create a comfortable the end living an are would carry out much much better with a wood-look product, such as the Polywood collection available by vermouth Woods Studios. When it has the appearance and also feel of natural wood, it’s in reality made of all-weather recycled high-density plastic. This method it deserve to withstand the aspects without any maintenance. We’re so i was sure it will certainly last and also maintain that is beauty the we sell a lifetime quality guarantee.

Is Birch timber Eco-friendly? are Birch tree Endangered?

Yellow birch trees loss into the lowest-risk endangerment category. The species, together a whole, is secure. However, the state of Illinois considers the to it is in endangered, meaning their yellow birch counts space dwindling. This is not viewed in various other parts the the country.

Beyond this, it’s for sure to consider birch wood to it is in eco-friendly. The trees flourish in diversity throughout north America and, in choosing any kind of kind of regional robust herbal wood product, consumers are staying clear of “junk” furniture indigenous winding up in landfills and also minimizing their carbon footprint.

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What to Look for as soon as Purchasing Birch Furniture

Again, most craftsmen have moved away from making use of birch wood due to the fact that other wood species can deliver comparable coloring or serial patterns. However, those browsing for organic wood furniture the any kind should always look for the following:

Authenticity: Is that solid yellow birch lumber as opposed to a veneer?Craftsmanship: Is the piece constructed well?Eco-Friendliness: Is the wood sustainably-sourced, ideally indigenous a neighborhood producer?

Alternatives come Birch Wood

True, some civilization are simply drawn to yellow birch wood since it evokes nostalgia, and in these cases, it’s fairly likely alternatives simply won’t do. However, those attracted to it because that the color and also durability will most likely be also happier with maple, when those attracted to several of the much more uncommon grain fads or red hues will appreciate cherry. Oak can be top top the lighter side together well, so it might be a great alternative for some too.

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