White birch is known in the wild for its striking bark that peels to expose a smooth orange trunk beneath. It is known in the forest products industry for the strength of its wood, its fine grain and the beautiful ripple patterns that make it a prized veneer. And its unique growth properties make it a plentiful, and cost-effective option for a wide variety of interior uses.
White birch’s journey from forest to end-use begins in cooler northern climates, typically in hardwood-conifer forests, where the tree flourishes. Also known as paper birch, canoe birch, or silver birch, this hardwood tree can reach heights of 40 to 70 feet, and up to 3 feet in diameter. It can grow in almost any soil and due to this, and its preference for full sunlight, white birch is among the first trees to emerge in an area after a wildfire, logging or other disruptions.
Once harvested and processed, white birch reveals its predominantly creamy white sapwood and golden brown heartwood. Because of birch’s hardness, it is generally easiest to shape it with machinery than with hand tools. But this hardness also makes white birch the first choice for a variety of applications.
Our hardwood lumber birch ultimately goes on to form furniture components, flooring, cabinetry, pallets, railroad ties and more. Its light color and durability make birch wood floors a popular neutral choice, and it is the best hardwood flooring options to withstand abuse from frequent foot traffic. As a hardwood plywood or architectural plywood, white birch veneer shines with rich character and an appearance that ranges from fine lines to unique curl patterns. Given this broadly-ranging appearance, birch is among the most widely used woods for veneer around the world. You can expect to find its easily recognizable pattern on doors, furniture, and paneling or a unique application—for example, it makes a “striking” shell for drums.
To discover what options you have available to you with white birch, contact to your local Timber Products salesperson!