American yellow birch

Betula alleghaniensis

American yellow birch

General Description

Yellow birch has a white sapwood and light reddish brown heartwood. The wood is generally straight grained with a fine uniform texture.

Other Common names

Distribution & Availability

Eastern USA, principally Northern and Lake States. Reasonable availability, but more limited ifselected for colour, i.e. red birch (heartwood) or white birch (sapwood). Increasingly found in export markets, although volumes produced may limit sizes and grades available.

Case Studies

Strathmore Music Centre

Strathmore Music Centre

American yellow birch was specified at The Strathmore Music Centre in Baltimore for its resiliency and warm sound.

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View Physical & Mechanical Properties

Physical & Mechanical Properties

The wood of yellow birch is heavy, hard and strong. It has very good wood bending properties, with good crushing strength and shock resistance.

American yellow birch - Physical & Mechanical Properties

Specific Gravity (12% M.C.):0.62
Average Weight (12% M.C.):689 kg/m3
Average Volume Shrinkage (Green to 6% M.C.):13.40%
Modulus of Rupture:114.457 MPa
Modulus of Elasticity:13,859 MPa
Compressive strength (parallel to grain):
56.332 MPa
Hardness:5604 N
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View Working Properties

Working Properties

The wood works fairly easily, glues well with care, takes stain and polish extremely well, and nails and screws satisfactorily where pre-boring is advised. It dries rather slowly with little degrade, but it has moderately high shrinkage, so can be susceptible to movement in performance.

American yellow birch - Working Properties

SawingGood
PlaningGood
DrillingGood
BoringGood
TurningGood
Carving
Good
Moulding
Good
Nailing
Fair
Screwing
Fair
Gluing
Good
Finishing
Excellent
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View Main Uses

Main Uses

Furniture, internal joinery and panelling, doors, flooring, kitchen cabinets, turning and toys.

American yellow birch - Main Uses

Doors
Flooring
Furniture
Joinery
Kitchen cabinets
Mouldings and
turnings
Veneered panels

Sports goods

Tool handles

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Other Information

Often sorted for sap (sapwood) or red (heartwood). When sorted for colour, the FAS grade will allow a 5 inch minimum width. Refer to the NHLA’s Rules for the Measurement & Inspection of Hardwood & Cypress for colour sorting specifications. Paper birch is a much softer textured birch species, which is lighter in colour, with scattered brown flecks and should not be confused with yellow birch.

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