Botanical name: Betula spp. Grows in: North America and North Asia.
Color: In yellow birch (B. alleghaniensis), sapwood is creamy yellow pale while; heartwood is light reddish brown tinged with red. In sweet birch (B. lenta), sapwood is light colored and heartwood is dark brown tinged with red. In white birch, sapwood is light colored and heartwood is slightly brown.
Grain: Straight, smooth, elegant, closed grain, even texture. Occasional curly grain or wavy figure in some boards, similar to maple.
Yellow birch, sweet birch, paper birch. Paper birch (B. papyrifera) is softer and lower in weight and strength than yellow or sweet birch. However, yellow birch is most commonly used for flooring. Boards can vary greatly in grain and color.
Hardness/Janka: Janka:1260 (yellow); 2% softer than Northern red oak.
Dimensional Stability: Average (Yellow: 9.5; 10% less stabel than Northern red oak).
Workability: Difficult to work with hand tools, but good machining qualities. It is good with sanding and nailing, but may be difficult to stain.