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Birch, Yellow

Yellow Birch has a white sapwood and light reddish brown heartwood. The wood is generally straight grained with a fine uniform texture. Generally characterized by a plain and often curly or wavy pattern

Thicknesses

Subject to availability

4/4
5/4
6/4
7/4
8/4
9/4
10/4
12/4
16/4
20/4
1/2"
3/4"
1"

Distribution

Northeastern North America

Scientific Name

Betula alleghaniensis

Specific Gravity: Basic

0.55

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.69

Janka Hardness

1260

Colour/Appearance

Heartwood tends to be a light reddish brown, with nearly white sapwood. Occasionally figured pieces are available with a wide, shallow curl similar to the curl found in Cherry. There is virtually no colour distinction between annual growth rings, giving Birch a somewhat dull, uniform appearance.

Grain/Texture

Grain is generally straight or slightly wavy, with a fine, even texture. Low natural luster.

Endgrain

Diffuse-porous; primarily radial multiples; medium pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to numerous; parenchyma maringal, and sometimes diffuse-in-aggregates (faintly visible with lens); narrow rays, spacing fairly close to close.

Rot Resistance

Birch is perishable, and will readily rot and decay if exposed to the elements. The wood is also susceptible to insect attack.

Workability

Generally easy to work with hand and machine tools, though boards with wild grain can cause grain tearout during machining operations. Turns, glues, and finishes well.

Odor

No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity

Birch in the Betula genus has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include skin and respiratory irritation.

Pricing/Availability

Likely to be rather economical in most instances. Figured boards can be more expensive, but normally plain birch lumber is in the same price range as maple or oak.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
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