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Birch wood facts

Updated March 23, 2017

Birch wood is a product of birch trees, of which there are numerous varieties. All varieties of birch trees produce comparable birch wood that has many uses. The paper birch is the state tree of New Hampshire, according to The United States National Arboretum.

Characteristics

A birch tree can be easily distinguished by the white peeling properties of the bark that are marked with horizontal lenticels. Birch wood is extremely pale and may appear to have sheen look to it. It is characteristically fine-grained.

Uses

Birch wood is often used in decorative furniture and veneer. It is considered to be a strong form of plywood and is often used for making toothpicks. One of the most valuable uses of birch wood, in former years, was making canoes, according to The United States National Arboretum. A popular use of birch wood is in the construction of skateboards, since it offers a flexible property.

Availability

Birch trees grow rapidly, but can be susceptible to disease, according to the Cass County Government. If the tree is not planted under the proper conditions, it can succumb to weakness and infection from bronze birch borers, which feed on birch wood. This can destroy the birch wood and make unusable for everyday purposes. As of 2010, birch wood ranges in the moderate price range, currently around £4.50 for a 4 by 4 feet board.

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About the Author

Victoria Michaels graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in professional writing accompanied by a certificate in interactive Web writing. Michaels began her writing career behind the scenes writing as a grant consultant as well as creating technical user manuals for small companies. She writes for various online magazines and websites.