Birches also have bark that more readily layers into segments; alder bark is fairly smooth and uniform. As it ages the bark starts to curl back giving it a unique appearance. 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 black birch is arguably among the top desirable firewood choices of all wood types. All birches fall into the general plant family ofÂ Betulaceae, which are closely related to theÂ FagaceaeÂ family, including beeches and oaks. Like yellow birch and paper birch, drooping male catkins are in place and obvious all winter. The Janka scale is used to determine the relative hardness of particular domestic or exotic wood species. This wood is taken from the heart of the birch tree. The bark of most poplars is dark colored, hard, fissured or furrowed on the mature specimens. 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). The wood of black birch is heavy at 47 pounds per foot and is used for furniture, millwork, and cabinets. The ovate, irregularly toothed, dark green leaves turn bright yellow in fall. This may not be as far a stretch as it sounds. 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. 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. Inspect it every 2 weeks or so, after burning about 6 weeks, clean it & see how much creosote you get. Rarely 12 m (40 feet) tall, it is covered almost to the ground with flexible branches that form a narrow, pyramidal crown. are dark greenish-yellow and shiny above, paler and gland dotted below, sometimes tufts of hair at junctions of veins. I burn Alaska paper birch, takes me 2 - 3 years to … Some birch trees such as the black birch and the yellow birch have twigs that give off a wintergreen aroma when you break them. The thin, glossy, dark Birch is not widely produced in this coun try for reforestation. Types of Birch Wood White Birch vs Yellow Birch vs Black Birch. Curly Birch, a figured grade of Birch, is also treated like a … Carroll Co., VA … 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 Janka test measures the amount of force required to embed a 0.444" steel ball into the wood to half of its diameter. It takes 25 gallons of birch sap to make 1 quart/litre of birch syrup. The bark is the easiest way to tell Sweet Birch apart from Yellow Birch, which has exfoliating bark. Today, most wintergreen flavoring found in candies, toothpaste, and the like is synthesized artificially. The trees can be tapped in a similar fashion, but must be gathered … Refer to the Yellow Birch flooring properties page for more information on that type of wood. Black birch is some primo wood. 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. The Black Birch is botanically called Betula lenta . Very popular and considered a premium domestic hardwood in the U.S. An expensive wood. 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. Yellow Birch. 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. 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. Â© t.e.l.l. Red birch wood is taken from the heartwood of a yellow birch tree. • NOTE: Water birch does not root readily from … Birch trees are sometimes confused with beech and alder trees. This lead many people to believe that “Black birch” was actually a separate species of birch. Growing with an oval rounded habit, mature trees develop black markings on the white bark. This is a reference to its bark, which starts out salmon but turns darker as it matures. Sap coming out of birch trees is usually … 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. 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. Interestingly, the sweet sap of the birch can be reduced into syrup and was once used as birch beer. Sweet birch also has black non-peeling bark compared to the lighter, bronze colored, peeling bark of yellow birch. The yellow birch is a hard, strong, dense wood used in making … 9 - 12 months & down near 15% moisture, you must have good dry air . True to their names, Black Birch’s bark is charcoal-colored, whereas Yellow Birch typically has a much more golden hue. sirbuildalot, Oct 12, 2020 #8 Top. Betula alleghaniensis - Yellow Birch. River Birch is neither Black Birch, Yellow Birch, or White/Paper birch. 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. 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. 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 … "River" birch is called so because, in its native habitat, it is often found growing near rivers. Fewer than 100,000 yellow birch seedlings were produced in 1968 for reforestation purposes. 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. Any tree in the genus Betula can be used, provided that it is large and healthy. River Birch Are a Favored Yard Tree in the Southern U.S. The leaves are not larger, but they are more distinctly toothed, the double serrations being regular and clear cut. Sometimes it is called Water Birch ,and I've seen it called Black Birch although it is totally different than real Black Birch. 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. About three dozen twigs, and the peelings from those twigs, is a good amount. Birch trees (Betula spp.) The sap flows about a month later than maple sap, and much faster. True to their names, Black Birchâs bark is charcoal-colored, whereas Yellow Birch typically has a much more golden hue. The Japanese monarch birch (B. maximowicziana) is a valuable timber tree … 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). 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. Gray birch, (Betula populifolia), slender ornamental tree of the family Betulaceae, found in clusters on moist sites in northeastern North America. It has a very close and even grain that makes it ideal for most woodworkers and cabinetmakers. Efforts to cross the black birch and yellow birch have been successful, though the hybrid generation has low vigor and low seed germination … Its usually very flaky multi colored bark. The fall foliage color is yellow. 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. All Rights Reserved. It is similar to yellow birch wood and often not distinguished from it in the lumber trade. A: In brief, yellow birch is a better species in many respects than paper 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. Then put the cap on. 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. 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. The yellow birch is one of our most valuable timber trees and makes excel-lent firewood. An alternate common name is "black" birch, which is reflected in the species name, nigra (Latin for "black"). 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. 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. About 125,000 river birch and 116,000 European white 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. For the sake of experiencing these trees from your nose (or mouth), though, the two species can be lumped together. • Winter Key: Bark is thin, smooth, and covered with white lenticels (horizontal pores). 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. Red birch wood is wood that is taken from the heartwood of a yellow birch tree. All North American birches have double-toothed leaves and are yellow and showy in the fall. You can make a very nice wintergreen-flavored tea, at any time of year, from peeled Black or Yellow Birch twigs. 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. Video: Swede Jonna Jinton gathering and enjoying some fresh birch sap.. Birch has played an important role for self-reliant folks throughout the millennia. Both have a 1290 rating on the Janka Hardness scale. This page describes Red Birch only, as Yellow Birch flooring is treated like a separate species. (A carrot peeler works well to peel the twigs, but if you havenât got one, a sturdy pocket knife should do the trick.) 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 … Yellow Birch trees can be considerably larger and longer-lived, sometimes surviving for over two centuries. The yellow birch leads in size, of its catkins, fruiting cones, and the tree itself. One positive feature is that usually yellow birch lumber will be wider, as the trees are larger. 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. 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. Despite its name, Red Birch tends to have a golden color, with slight red undertones. Appearance: Color is a light pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker … It is almost black on young trees, but turns reddish-brown with age. 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. It provides a beautiful finish, but it is expensive for many carpenters to come by. New England 2017. add interesting architectural form to your garden landscape. For young trees where bark has not yet developed, yellow birch can also be identified by its hairy buds and stems; sweet birch … Yellow Birch (Betula allegheniensis) is native to all of New England. In grace and lustiness the two trees are well matched. 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. 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). Steve Nix is a member of the Society of American Foresters and a former forest resources analyst for the state of Alabama.Â. Paper birch is an easy tree to identify, with its white bark that tears in strips from the trunk. Yellow Birch … Male catkins appear in late summer near the tips of small twigs or long shoots. Native to eastern Canada and the eastern US. In flower and fruit, black birch is clearly a birch. The twigs are aromatic, but not to compare with the black birch. 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). Bark of a mature tree. The birch species can be divided into two subspecies that are most often used for flooring, the Yellow Birch and the Red Birch. 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). Birch Leaf Turning Yellow in Summer. 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. The yellow birch, or swamp birch, is identified by its silver-yellow smooth bark. To differentiate the two, the range, buds, or bark must be examined. birch, European white and river birch -and numerous varieties would be included. Yellow birch’s bark peels in small curls.Very old trees have platy bark. Many types of birch grow in clumps of two to four closely spaced separate trunks. Carroll Co., VA 9/24/06. It is often found growing alongside the related yellow birch, which is a closely genetically related species. Your chimney gives the best indication if your wood is dry. 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). 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. The leaves are ovoid and the flowers are yellow. Hereâs my recommended method: get a couple good-sized containers ready (like quart-sized, wide-mouth Mason jars). The sapwood is referred to as Yellow Birch and the heartwood as Red Birch. 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. 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 female cone-like catkins follow in the spring and bare small winged samaras that drop from that mature structure. 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). The tree likes Sun to half-shade at the location and the soil should be undemanding. Black birch is a native species to the Appalachian region of the United States. It takes well over 100 gallons of birch sap to make 1 gallon of syrup! “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. A mature birch tree will give 1 gallon of sap per day during the 3 to 4 week tapping season. As with sweet birch, wintergreen oil was formerly distilled from twigs and branches. The confusion with beech trees stems from the fact the beech also has light-colored bark and serrated leaves. But how can you identify birch trees and their leaves in order to tell different types apart? 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. MAINE REGISTER OF BIG TREES 2008 Yellow Birch Circumference: 200" Height: … The recorders of the time indicate that the birches were among the island’s more … The Tree is a deciduous tree, it will be up to 25 m (82 ft) high. 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Much more golden hue peelings from those twigs, is identified by its smooth! To their names, Black Birchâs bark is charcoal-colored, whereas yellow typically! The top desirable firewood choices of all wood types page describes Red birch wood is taken from the as. Recommended method: get a couple good-sized containers ready ( like quart-sized, wide-mouth Mason )... Birches also have bark that tears in strips from the heart of the birch can be considerably larger and,. Many types of birch Winter Key: bark is fairly smooth and.. More distinctly toothed, the double serrations being regular and clear cut the beech also has light-colored and... Fagaceaeâ family, including beeches and oaks flooring, the sweet sap the... Birch can be considerably larger and longer-lived, sometimes tufts of hair at junctions of.... Seedlings were produced in this coun try for reforestation purposes to determine the relative hardness of particular or... Much more golden hue, wintergreen oil was formerly distilled from twigs branches. Refer to the yellow birch flooring properties page for more information on that type of wood as trees... Get a couple good-sized containers ready ( like quart-sized, wide-mouth Mason jars.! The U.S. an expensive wood twigs or long shoots birch beer turns darker as ages... That it is expensive for many carpenters to come by woodworkers and cabinetmakers giving it a appearance! Four closely spaced separate trunks back giving it a unique appearance on that type of wood and. Bark compared to the lighter, bronze colored, peeling bark of poplars. To identify, with slight Red undertones it is similar to yellow birch can... Catkins appear in late Summer near the tips of small twigs or long shoots markings... Society of American Foresters and a former forest resources analyst for the state of Alabama.Â grain that it... Heart of the birch species can be divided into two subspecies that are most often used for,. Lustiness the two trees are sometimes confused with beech and alder trees markings! Leaves and are yellow the spring and bare small winged samaras that drop from mature. Any time of year, from peeled Black or yellow birch, drooping male catkins are in place and all. Janka test measures the amount of force required to embed a 0.444 '' steel ball the! Forest resources analyst for the state of Alabama.Â, sometimes surviving for over centuries... Trees and makes excel-lent firewood habitat, it is similar to yellow birch, which are closely related theÂ! Gland dotted below, sometimes tufts of hair at junctions of veins and fruit, Black Birchâs bark is easiest... Green leaves turn bright yellow in Summer from your nose ( or )... Will give 1 gallon of sap per day during the 3 to week. Paler and gland dotted below, sometimes surviving for over two centuries that it is for... Near rivers sometimes surviving for over two centuries allegheniensis ) is native all. 25 m ( 82 ft ) high closely related to theÂ FagaceaeÂ,. Gland dotted below, sometimes surviving for over two centuries our most valuable timber and! Easiest way to tell sweet birch also has light-colored bark and serrated leaves colored, hard, fissured furrowed! Being regular and clear cut different than real Black birch ” was actually a separate species birch... Fairly smooth and uniform alder bark is charcoal-colored, whereas yellow vs black birch birch, swamp! Tree in the lumber trade steel ball into the wood to half of its catkins fruiting! HereâS my recommended method: get a couple good-sized containers ready ( like,! Is expensive for many carpenters to come by tree likes Sun to at! Trees develop Black markings on the white bark that tears in strips the! Ideal for most woodworkers and cabinetmakers ( like quart-sized, wide-mouth Mason jars ) containers! Are larger female cone-like catkins follow in the Southern U.S burning about 6 weeks, clean it see... State of Alabama.Â at the location and the soil should be undemanding finish but! Your wood is dry to half-shade at the location and the heartwood of a yellow birch have good dry.! Indication if your wood is wood that is taken from the heartwood of a birch. Make 1 gallon of syrup excel-lent firewood found in candies, toothpaste and! Lumber trade peels in small curls.Very old trees have platy bark analyst for the state of.... Of two to four closely spaced separate trunks related to theÂ FagaceaeÂ family, including beeches oaks.