Europe and Asia up to about latitude 65° north
Important stands for the veneer industry in Finland and to some extent in Sweden. There are large occurrences in Russia. Only pure stands occur in these countries whereas in Central European forests Birch trees are found standing scattered or in groups.
The colour is yellowish white but the logs often have brown hearts when mature. Birch wood has a low resistance to weather and is very susceptible to fungi and insect attack. Really clean logs, free of defects, are seldom found. Figured wood is frequent, much in demand sold as Ice Birch.
Birch machines easily and well with all tools. Planed surfaces are very smooth.
Birch must be dried very carefully and slowly because of its tendency to check and warp.
Because of its texture Birch is very suitable for staining and applying glossy finishes. All usual surface finishes present no difficulty in application.
Birch takes well to glue and the joints hold well. Screw and nail joints should be pre-drilled.
Hard Maple, Yellow Birch (betula lutea)
Greater significance as peeled Birch for furniture and panel industries (popular wood for bedrooms in the fifties). Also used fore table and chair production. Very popular in Germany for burning in open fire places. In larger dimensions ( seldom) also produced as sliced Birch. Most sliced Birch is “ Yellow Birch “ from the USA.
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