yellow vs black birch

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

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