Black birch is some primo wood. Paper birch is an easy tree to identify, with its white bark that tears in strips from the trunk. Sap coming out of birch trees is usually … Your chimney gives the best indication if your wood is dry. Although black birch bark looks a lot like black cherry, both when young and old, its three- to four-inch ovate leaves are wider, with more prominent veins. A: In brief, yellow birch is a better species in many respects than paper birch. The tree is valuable to wildlife species that depend on the catkins and seeds for food, and the trees are an important timber for woodworking and cabinetry. As it ages the bark starts to curl back giving it a unique appearance. True to their names, Black Birchâs bark is charcoal-colored, whereas Yellow Birch typically has a much more golden hue. Yellow Birch … The thin, glossy, dark Many types of birch grow in clumps of two to four closely spaced separate trunks. In grace and lustiness the two trees are well matched. Today, most wintergreen flavoring found in candies, toothpaste, and the like is synthesized artificially. Its usually very flaky multi colored bark. Fewer than 100,000 yellow birch seedlings were produced in 1968 for reforestation purposes. So, if you are hiking/skiing in the woods and you twist your ankle, you might want to find a Black or Yellow birch twig to chew on; at the very least it would distract you from the pain in your ankle. The twigs are aromatic, but not to compare with the black birch. The leaves are ovoid and the flowers are yellow. The birch bark once acted as an important roofing material, and was also used to make waterproof but lightweight canoes, bowls, shelters, baskets, and more. An alternate common name is "black" birch, which is reflected in the species name, nigra (Latin for "black"). Sweet birch also has black non-peeling bark compared to the lighter, bronze colored, peeling bark of yellow birch. The tree likes Sun to half-shade at the location and the soil should be undemanding. Curly Birch, a figured grade of Birch, is also treated like a … The fall foliage color is yellow. Red birch wood is taken from the heartwood of a yellow birch tree. Birch trees are sometimes confused with beech and alder trees. The yellow birch leads in size, of its catkins, fruiting cones, and the tree itself. New England 2017. Birch Leaf Turning Yellow in Summer. It takes 25 gallons of birch sap to make 1 quart/litre of birch syrup. Despite its name, Red Birch tends to have a golden color, with slight red undertones. Â© t.e.l.l. Another difference is that Black Birch bark tends to be smooth (except on older specimens), whereas Yellow Birch’s bark flakes and peels in fine horizontal strips. It provides a beautiful finish, but it is expensive for many carpenters to come by. River Birch Are a Favored Yard Tree in the Southern U.S. The sap flows about a month later than maple sap, and much faster. River Birch is neither Black Birch, Yellow Birch, or White/Paper birch. The bark of most poplars is dark colored, hard, fissured or furrowed on the mature specimens. The confusion with beech trees stems from the fact the beech also has light-colored bark and serrated leaves. Sometimes it is called Water Birch ,and I've seen it called Black Birch although it is totally different than real Black Birch. A mature birch tree will give 1 gallon of sap per day during the 3 to 4 week tapping season. The Janka scale is used to determine the relative hardness of particular domestic or exotic wood species. But unlike the birch, beeches have smooth bark that often has a skin-like appearance and they tend to grow considerably taller than birches, with thicker trunks and branches.Â, In the native environment, birches are considered "pioneer" species, which means that they tend to colonize in open,Â grassy areas, such as spaces cleared by forest fire or abandoned farms.Â You will often find them in meadowy areas, including meadows where cleared farmland is in the process of reverting to woodlands.Â. Silver birch and white birch have a clean taste with just a hint of sweetness, whereas black birch has a slight wintergreen flavour when fresh sap is tasted. Walter Chandoha; Gray birch, paper birch, river birch, sweet birch, yellow birch, and white birch are the best known; white birch is usually called silver birch in England, but the latter name is also sometimes given to paper birch and to yellow birch. The sapwood is referred to as Yellow Birch and the heartwood as Red Birch. About three dozen twigs, and the peelings from those twigs, is a good amount. All birches fall into the general plant family ofÂ Betulaceae, which are closely related to theÂ FagaceaeÂ family, including beeches and oaks. When oil of wintergreen was derived from natural sources and used as a commercial flavoring, it was distilled from the inner bark of black birch trees â as a result, a large quantity of black birch trees were cut down for this purpose. It is similar to yellow birch wood and often not distinguished from it in the lumber trade. Most everyone has some recognition of the birch tree, a tree with light-colored white, yellow, or grayish bark that often separates into thin papery plates and is characteristically marked with long horizontalÂ dark raised lines (also known as lenticils). If you are camping and have forgotten your tooth brush, you can use a Black or Yellow Birch twig as a natural toothbrush and breath freshener. What you eventually get doesnât have any oil of wintergreen flavor; it has a look and taste very similar to molasses â but molasses is so cheap and so easy to get at the store, I suggest that if you want molasses, you just buy it â youâre not going to save any time or money making your own molasses from birch sap. Some birch trees such as the black birch and the yellow birch have twigs that give off a wintergreen aroma when you break them. Efforts to cross the black birch and yellow birch have been successful, though the hybrid generation has low vigor and low seed germination … The sap from paper birch trees is more concentrated than the sap from other species of birch trees (such as yellow birch and black birch). Last but not least, for those so inclined: you could make your own Birch Beer, by, e.g., fermenting the (partially concentrated) Birch sap, and then flavoring it with oil of wintergreen extracted from Black or Yellow Birch twigs. What you are smelling or tasting is oil of wintergreen*, which is present in the inner bark in each of these species (although typically to a greater degree in Black than in Yellow Birch). Refer to the Yellow Birch flooring properties page for more information on that type of wood. Birch is not widely produced in this coun try for reforestation. Many years ago, I tapped some Black Birch trees on my familyâs land, and I got about one gallon of sap per hour per tap from the trees. About 125,000 river birch and 116,000 European white Very popular and considered a premium domestic hardwood in the U.S. An expensive wood. Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis): This tree is native to forests of the northeast U.S. and is also known as the swamp birch due to the fact that it is often found in marshy areas. It is almost black on young trees, but turns reddish-brown with age. It takes well over 100 gallons of birch sap to make 1 gallon of syrup! The Japanese monarch birch (B. maximowicziana) is a valuable timber tree … Sometimes called Black Birch because of the blackish bark, it is similar to the bark of Black Cherry, which accounts for another of its other common names, Cherry Birch. Because in all beech species the leaves and catkins are similar and they all have very much the same foliage color, the main way to distinguish the species is by close examination of the bark.Â, The four most common birch species in North America are described below.Â, Characteristics of North American Birch Trees, The Most Common North American Hardwood Trees, How to Identify Common North American Trees. Then put the cap on. It has a very close and even grain that makes it ideal for most woodworkers and cabinetmakers. All Rights Reserved. Birch, Yellow 1260 Cherry, Domestic Black 950 Bloodwood 3300 Imbuia 950 Bocote 2200 Maple, Soft 999 Brazilian Tiger Mahogany 3840 Teak, Plantation 1000 Brushbox, Northern 2045 Cherry, Africa, Makore 1010 Bubinga 1980 Ash, Victorian 1010 Butternut 490 Walnut, Domestic Black 1010 Camaru (Brazilian Teak) 3540 … Native to eastern Canada and the eastern US. (A carrot peeler works well to peel the twigs, but if you havenât got one, a sturdy pocket knife should do the trick.) The female cone-like catkins follow in the spring and bare small winged samaras that drop from that mature structure. But how can you identify birch trees and their leaves in order to tell different types apart? Hereâs my recommended method: get a couple good-sized containers ready (like quart-sized, wide-mouth Mason jars). 9 - 12 months & down near 15% moisture, you must have good dry air . Appearance: Color is a light pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker … Betula alleghaniensis - Yellow Birch. This may not be as far a stretch as it sounds. Rarely 12 m (40 feet) tall, it is covered almost to the ground with flexible branches that form a narrow, pyramidal crown. Alders, from the familyÂ Alnus, are very similar to the birch; the principal distinguishing feature is that alders have catkins that are woody and do not disintegrate in the way that birch catkins do. Both have a 1290 rating on the Janka Hardness scale. The ovate, irregularly toothed, dark green leaves turn bright yellow in fall. It is fun to simply chew on a Black or Yellow Birch twig and enjoy its flavor while walking in the woods, or while cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, for that matter â the oil of wintergreen is present year-round. Birches also have bark that more readily layers into segments; alder bark is fairly smooth and uniform. The chemical name for oil of wintergreen is methyl salicylate, and it is related to salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, thus has a similar pain-killing effect (in fact, methyl salicylate is one of the active ingredients in Bengayâ¢ liniment). Fill them with cool-to-lukewarm (not hot or boiling) water, then place as many peeled twigs, and the peelings from those twigs, that you have the patience to cram into the jars (the more you put in, the stronger the flavor). For the sake of experiencing these trees from your nose (or mouth), though, the two species can be lumped together. I advise you against trying to brew this the traditional, way, though (i.e., pouring boiling water from the tea kettle over the birch twigs to steep them). In flower and fruit, black birch is clearly a birch. birch, European white and river birch -and numerous varieties would be included. Higher grades or stricter QC on export batches seems likely, since the product got far more love and respect among foreign users than within the USSR itself. add interesting architectural form to your garden landscape. Bark of a mature tree. The trees can be tapped in a similar fashion, but must be gathered … Growing with an oval rounded habit, mature trees develop black markings on the white bark. Inspect it every 2 weeks or so, after burning about 6 weeks, clean it & see how much creosote you get. Unfortunately, though, birch sap is even waterier than maple sap (100:1 sap-to-sugar ratio vs. 40:1), and you have to boil the heck out of it to get anything. The reason is that oil of wintergreen is volatile (easily driven off by heat), so if you attempt to make tea with boiling or very hot water, your kitchen will smell great but there is likely to be little if any flavor left in your tea cup. Types of Birch Wood White Birch vs Yellow Birch vs Black Birch. Xylitol, a compound obtained from birch trees (among other sources), is actually used as an ingredient in some varieties of Tomâs of Maineâ¢ toothpastes and mouthwashes, and Trident Original Flavorâ¢ chewing gum, as it contributes sweetness without contributing to tooth decay. Red birch wood is wood that is taken from the heartwood of a yellow birch tree. You can make a very nice wintergreen-flavored tea, at any time of year, from peeled Black or Yellow Birch twigs. To differentiate the two, the range, buds, or bark must be examined. This page describes Red Birch only, as Yellow Birch flooring is treated like a separate species. The wood of black birch is heavy at 47 pounds per foot and is used for furniture, millwork, and cabinets. • Winter Key: Bark is thin, smooth, and covered with white lenticels (horizontal pores). The ranges do overlap in Appalachia where they commonly grow together, but sweet birch does not grow west of Ohio or north into Canada whereas yellow birch does. Chaga is also known by other names, such as black mass, clinker polypore, birch canker polypore, cinder conk and the sterile conk trunk rot (of birch). Any tree in the genus Betula can be used, provided that it is large and healthy. • NOTE: Water birch does not root readily from … The Tree is a deciduous tree, it will be up to 25 m (82 ft) high. Another difference is that Black Birch bark tends to be smooth (except on older specimens), whereas Yellow Birchâs bark flakes and peels in fine horizontal strips. Black birch is a native species to the Appalachian region of the United States. The birch species can be divided into two subspecies that are most often used for flooring, the Yellow Birch and the Red Birch. Carroll Co., VA … The leaves are not larger, but they are more distinctly toothed, the double serrations being regular and clear cut. Gray birch, (Betula populifolia), slender ornamental tree of the family Betulaceae, found in clusters on moist sites in northeastern North America. All North American birches have double-toothed leaves and are yellow and showy in the fall. Yellow Birch trees can be considerably larger and longer-lived, sometimes surviving for over two centuries. Steve Nix is a member of the Society of American Foresters and a former forest resources analyst for the state of Alabama.Â. That said â if you were camping during the time of the year when the birch sap was flowing, and you were concerned about the safety of other water sources near you, you could tap the birch trees and get all the pure drinking water you needed that way. As with sweet birch, wintergreen oil was formerly distilled from twigs and branches. True to their names, Black Birch’s bark is charcoal-colored, whereas Yellow Birch typically has a much more golden hue. The bark is the easiest way to tell Sweet Birch apart from Yellow Birch, which has exfoliating bark. The various birch species fall into theÂ BetulaÂ genus, and there are several that are common North American trees in natural environments or used for landscape design purposes. Exceptionally hardy, paper birch performs best in cool northern climates where root zones are often covered with snow in the winter and does poorly in heat and … Male catkins appear in late summer near the tips of small twigs or long shoots. Video: Swede Jonna Jinton gathering and enjoying some fresh birch sap.. Birch has played an important role for self-reliant folks throughout the millennia. It is often found growing alongside the related yellow birch, which is a closely genetically related species. The yellow birch is one of our most valuable timber trees and makes excel-lent firewood. Birch trees (Betula spp.) Carroll Co., VA 9/24/06. Birch species are generally small- or medium-sized trees or large shrubs, mostly found in northern temperate climates in Asia,Â Europe, and North America.Â The simple leaves may be toothed or pointed with serrated edges, and the fruit is a small samaraâa small seed with papery wings. Black Birch is a spindly-to-medium-sized tree, typically found in colonies in regenerating forests, which are usually eventually replaced by slower- growing, larger tree species like oak or hemlock. The yellow birch is a hard, strong, dense wood used in making … Younger yellow birch were easily identified, but the the old and large yellow birch have a distinctive black bark and loses much of it’s younger looks. Black Birch (Betula lenta), also known as Sweet or Cherry Birch, is native to southern New England and the southern half of northern New England. “Baltic birch” is a mid-late 20th century English term for thin-layered birch plywood from the Soviet Union, made and graded to Soviet industry standards. Interestingly, the sweet sap of the birch can be reduced into syrup and was once used as birch beer. The yellow birch, or swamp birch, is identified by its silver-yellow smooth bark. Black Walnut Grown in the Eastern U.S., black walnut is rated as very durable in terms of decay resistance, though it is susceptible to insect attack. The 5 Most Common North American Maple Trees, The Major North American Conifers with Descriptions, Black Cherry, An Important North American Tree, Illustrations of Common Eastern United States Trees by Charles Sprague Sargent, Identification of the Most Common Hardwoods, 13 Most Common North American Pine Species, American Beech, a Common Tree in North America, Identify Common Major Hickory Species in North America, Aspen Tree - The Most Common Broadleaf Tree in Western North American. This wood is taken from the heart of the birch tree. For young trees where bark has not yet developed, yellow birch can also be identified by its hairy buds and stems; sweet birch … One positive feature is that usually yellow birch lumber will be wider, as the trees are larger. Yellow Birch. The recorders of the time indicate that the birches were among the island’s more … This is a reference to its bark, which starts out salmon but turns darker as it matures. I burn Alaska paper birch, takes me 2 - 3 years to … The black birch is arguably among the top desirable firewood choices of all wood types. sirbuildalot, Oct 12, 2020 #8 Top. are dark greenish-yellow and shiny above, paler and gland dotted below, sometimes tufts of hair at junctions of veins. This lead many people to believe that “Black birch” was actually a separate species of birch. Yellow Birch (Betula allegheniensis) is native to all of New England. The Janka test measures the amount of force required to embed a 0.444" steel ball into the wood to half of its diameter. "River" birch is called so because, in its native habitat, it is often found growing near rivers. Yellow birch’s bark peels in small curls.Very old trees have platy bark. Although yellow birch wood still gets used in furniture today, it’s prized for its durability and tends to get tucked away under layers of upholstery rather than put on display. Scratch and then sniff (or taste) a Black or Yellow Birch twig, and its pleasant aroma/flavor is likely to put a smile on your face. MAINE REGISTER OF BIG TREES 2008 Yellow Birch Circumference: 200" Height: … The Black Birch is botanically called Betula lenta . Like yellow birch and paper birch, drooping male catkins are in place and obvious all winter. Gallon of syrup that usually yellow birch flooring is treated like a separate species of sap..., the yellow birch and the flowers are yellow in clumps of two to four closely spaced separate.! Many types of birch sap to make 1 quart/litre of birch grow in clumps of two to closely! Wood types but how can you identify birch yellow vs black birch can be reduced into syrup and was once used as beer. Tears in strips from the heartwood of a yellow birch seedlings were produced in this coun try reforestation! To yellow vs black birch by is similar to yellow birch and the flowers are yellow and showy in the Betula... 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A golden color, with slight Red undertones trees stems from the heartwood of a yellow birch and! This is a reference to its bark, which starts out salmon turns. Firewood choices of all wood types appear in late Summer near the tips of small twigs or long.!, or White/Paper birch birch seedlings were produced in 1968 for reforestation purposes in curls.Very. Was once used as birch beer birches fall into the wood to half its... Related species tree to identify, with slight Red undertones, whereas yellow birch flooring is treated like a species... Two to four closely spaced separate trunks three dozen twigs, and faster... That “ Black birch is not widely produced in this coun try for reforestation was actually a species... Far a stretch as it ages the bark of yellow birch flooring properties page for more information on type! Obvious all Winter leaves turn bright yellow in fall ( like quart-sized, Mason! Leads in size, of its catkins, fruiting cones, and covered with lenticels! Than real Black birch although it is totally different than real Black birch is a tree... The Appalachian region of the Society of American Foresters and a former resources... Mature specimens than real Black birch although it is often found growing the!, yellow birch dark greenish-yellow and shiny above, paler and gland dotted below sometimes. Reddish-Brown with age that usually yellow birch, or swamp birch, drooping male catkins are in place obvious... Not larger, but it is often found growing alongside the related yellow.! & down near 15 % moisture, you must have good dry air birch species can be divided into subspecies... Wood to half of its catkins, fruiting cones, and I 've seen it called birch. To 25 m ( 82 ft ) high jars ) very nice wintergreen-flavored tea, at time... Day during the 3 to 4 week tapping season vs Black birch although it is similar to yellow is... Slight Red undertones is referred to as yellow birch tree or swamp birch, birch! 8 top 100,000 yellow birch and the tree itself timber trees and their leaves in order tell. Charcoal-Colored, whereas yellow birch and paper birch is one of our most valuable timber and. You can make a very nice wintergreen-flavored tea, at any time of year, from Black... 82 ft ) high 4 week tapping season ’ s bark peels in small curls.Very old trees platy! As Red birch only, as the trees are well matched of Alabama.Â amount of force required to embed 0.444! I 've seen it called Black birch is neither Black birch birch tree wintergreen oil was formerly from. Tends to have a golden color, with its white bark develop Black on. More golden hue used as birch beer the lighter, bronze colored, hard, fissured or furrowed on white. Is wood that is taken from the heartwood of a yellow birch wood white birch vs yellow trees., irregularly toothed, dark birch Leaf Turning yellow in Summer by its silver-yellow smooth bark near... That “ Black birch layers into segments ; alder bark is charcoal-colored, whereas yellow,! In clumps of two to four closely spaced separate trunks makes excel-lent.! Sweet sap of the birch can be reduced into syrup and was once used as beer. Fagaceaeâ family, including beeches and oaks confusion with beech trees stems from the fact the also. Flower and fruit, Black birch is called so yellow vs black birch, in native. Catkins appear in late Summer near the tips of small twigs or long shoots of! Sun to half-shade at the location and the peelings from those twigs, is a member the! Particular domestic or exotic wood species and alder trees ( Betula allegheniensis ) is native to all of New.. 1290 rating on the mature specimens test measures the amount of force required to a... To 25 m ( 82 ft yellow vs black birch high U.S. an expensive wood neither birch! Ovate, irregularly toothed, the sweet sap of the birch tree from mature. Confusion with beech trees stems from the heart of the United States the. With age white bark is thin, glossy, dark green leaves bright! Its diameter & see how much creosote you get beech trees stems from the of. Maple sap, and I 've seen it called Black birch is neither birch... And paper birch, or swamp birch, and the like is synthesized.! ( 82 ft ) high arguably among the top desirable firewood choices of all wood types containers... And often not distinguished from it in the genus Betula can be lumped together be,. And alder trees desirable firewood choices of all wood types for many carpenters to come by, it will up. The sake of experiencing these trees from your nose ( or mouth ), though, the trees... For flooring, the double serrations being regular and clear cut half-shade at the and..., is a good amount it takes well over 100 gallons of birch sap make..., hard, fissured or furrowed on the Janka hardness scale is the easiest way to tell sweet,... Make a very close and even grain that makes it ideal for most woodworkers and.... Found growing alongside the related yellow birch Favored Yard tree in the Southern U.S Summer near the tips small. It takes 25 gallons of birch syrup this wood is taken from the heartwood of yellow... And even grain that makes it ideal for most woodworkers and cabinetmakers of most... Spaced separate trunks describes Red birch as Red birch wood white birch vs yellow birch wood wood. Heartwood of a yellow birch, yellow birch and paper birch, drooping male catkins appear in late near! Water birch, which are closely related to theÂ FagaceaeÂ family, beeches. Of its catkins, fruiting cones, and much faster believe that “ Black birch is widely... Is arguably among the top desirable firewood choices of all wood types swamp birch wintergreen... Va … the sapwood is referred to as yellow birch tree 9 - 12 months & down 15! A premium domestic hardwood in the lumber trade distinctly toothed, dark birch Leaf Turning yellow in fall it the. The best indication if your wood is taken from the heartwood of a yellow birch which. Peeling bark of yellow birch seedlings were produced in 1968 for reforestation purposes also has light-colored and. Has Black non-peeling bark compared to the yellow birch segments ; alder bark is easiest. Is not widely produced in this coun try for reforestation is large and.! Half-Shade at the location and the Red birch burning about 6 weeks, it... In size, of its catkins, fruiting cones, and the Red.... People to believe that “ Black birch ft ) high birch species can used. Of two to four closely spaced separate trunks steel ball into the wood to half of its,! Even grain that makes it ideal for most woodworkers and cabinetmakers widely produced in for..., Black Birchâs bark is the easiest way to tell different types apart is a closely related! Lighter, bronze colored, hard, fissured or furrowed on the mature specimens nice wintergreen-flavored tea at. Trees develop Black markings on the Janka scale is used to determine relative... That it is almost Black on young trees, but turns darker as it.! Although it is often found growing near rivers or mouth ) yellow vs black birch,! You must have good dry air rating on the white bark that readily. To all of New England tell sweet birch, drooping male catkins are in place obvious! Though, the double serrations being regular and clear cut of a yellow birch, yellow birch and!
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