Thursday, 22 June 2017 19:03

Should You Be Considering Yellow Birch More Often?

If you mention using yellow birch to those in the hardwood lumber industry there is a good chance that the first thing they think of using it for is plywood.  However, yellow birch can be an excellent species for many other issues.

44 PR Birch Smyrna top5aYellow birch is commonly harvested throughout the New England States, New York, Pennsylvania and even into parts of the Appalachian region. It is estimated that it represents only about 5% of overall lumber production in the United States.

Yellow Birch does not contain a lot of sapwood. What sapwood it has is very light and its heartwood color varies from a light brown to a dark brown with a tinge of red from time to time.

It also has a reputation of being a hardwood that is hard, strong, and heavy. It has a straight, fine, uniformed grain pattern that if often categorized as indistinct. Although it can be hard to carve and shape with hand tools, it is regularly used in turning applications and can be found in many products such as furniture legs, posts, and balusters.  We find that because of its hardness many of our customers will use it in flooring and cabinet applications and can be often found as a substitute for hard maple in many instances, especially when it is sorted for color, (whiteness). Some even ask us to provide birch as SLR2E moulder blanks which we can do upon request.

Requests for birch logs are also common since it is used as a veneer in many different applications.

From our experience, yellow birch can be sometimes hard to come by. So it is important to check with your hardwood supplier on current inventory & availability if you are considering it for any specific ongoing applications.

If we can help you in any way, please let us know!

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber Co.
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