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Yellow Birch

Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis) Common Name(s): Yellow Birch Scientific Name: Betula alleghaniensis Distribution: Northeastern North America Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 43 lbs/ft3 (690 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .55, .69 Janka Hardness: 1,260 lbf (5,610 N) Modulus of Rupture: 16,600 lbf/in2 (114.5 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 2,010,000 lbf/in2 (13.86 GPa) Crushing...

Paper Birch

Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) Common Name(s): Paper Birch Scientific Name: Betula papyrifera Distribution: Northern and central North America Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 38 lbs/ft3 (610 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .48, .61 Janka Hardness: 910 lbf (4,050 N) Modulus of Rupture: 12,300 lbf/in2 (84.8 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,590,000 lbf/in2 (10.97 GPa) Crushing Strength:...

Sweet Birch

Sweet Birch (Betula lenta) Common Name(s): Sweet Birch Scientific Name: Betula lenta Distribution: Northeastern North America Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 46 lbs/ft3 (735 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .60, .74 Janka Hardness: 1,470 lbf (6,540 N) Modulus of Rupture: 16,900 lbf/in2 (116.6 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 2,170,000 lbf/in2 (14.97 GPa) Crushing Strength: 8,540 lbf/in2...

Gray Birch

Gray Birch (Betula populifolia) Common Name(s): Gray Birch Scientific Name: Betula populifolia Distribution: Northeastern North America Tree Size: 20-40 ft (6-12 m) tall, 1 ft (.3 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 35 lbs/ft3 (560 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .45, .56 Janka Hardness: 760 lbf (3,380 N) Modulus of Rupture: 9,800 lbf/in2 (67.6 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,150,000 lbf/in2 (7.93 GPa) Crushing Strength: 4,870 lbf/in2...

River Birch

River Birch (Betula nigra) Common Name(s): River Birch Scientific Name: Betula nigra Distribution: Eastern United States Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 37 lbs/ft3 (590 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .49, .59 Janka Hardness: 970 lbf (4,320 N)* *Estimated hardness based on specific gravity Modulus of Rupture: No data available Elastic Modulus: No data available Crushing...

Baltic Birch

Baltic Birch is not a specific species of birch, but is a general designation of plywood from Russia, Finland, and nearby Baltic states. As with any natural wood product, quality can be variable. However, Baltic Birch plywood is generally regarded as being of higher quality than standard birch plywood. In a nutshell, Baltic Birch plywood is made entirely from birch plies, with no softwood or filler plies in the center. Furthermore, the plies...

Downy Birch

Downy Birch (B. alleghaniensis pictured) Common Name(s): Downy Birch, European White Birch Scientific Name: Betula pubescens Distribution: Northern Europe, Asia, Iceland, and Greenland Tree Size: 33-65 ft (10-20 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 39 lbs/ft3 (625 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .48, .62 Janka Hardness: 930 lbf (4,140 N)* *Estimated hardness based on specific gravity Modulus of Rupture:...

Silver Birch

Silver Birch (Betula pendula) Common Name(s): Silver Birch Scientific Name: Betula pendula Distribution: Europe and southwest Asia Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 40 lbs/ft3 (640 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .50, .64 Janka Hardness: 1,210 lbf (5,360 N) Modulus of Rupture: 16,570 lbf/in2 (114.3 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 2,024,000 lbf/in2 (13.96 GPa) Crushing Strength: No data...

Masur Birch

Masur Birch is not a particular species of birch, but is rather a grain figure that is most commonly seen in Downy Birch and Silver Birch. It is also sometimes known as Karelian Birch—with Karelia being a region between Finland and Russia. Once surmised to have been caused by the boring larvae of a certain beetle, Masur Birch in Norway has been shown to be hereditary, classifying the name of the variant as Betula pendula var. Carelica....

Alder-leaf Birch

Alder-leaf Birch (B. alleghaniensis pictured) Common Name(s): Alder-leaf Birch Scientific Name: Betula alnoides Distribution: Burma, India, and Nepal Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 33 lbs/ft3 (530 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .41, .53 Janka Hardness: 830 lbf (3,690 N) Modulus of Rupture: 8,980 lbf/in2 (61.9 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,235,000 lbf/in2 (8.52 GPa) Crushing...

Alaska Paper Birch

Alaska Paper Birch (Betula neoalaskana) Common Name(s): Alaska Paper Birch Scientific Name: Betula neoalaskana Distribution: Alaska and northern Canada Tree Size: 50-65 ft (15-20 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 38 lbs/ft3 (610 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .49, .61 Janka Hardness: 830 lbf (3,690 N) Modulus of Rupture: 13,600 lbf/in2 (93.8 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,900,000 lbf/in2 (13.10 GPa) Crushing...

Common US Hardwoods

by Eric Meier In the process of identifying wood, things can get a bit overwhelming when faced with the hundreds and hundreds of possible species. Yet in the context of everyday woods that most people in the United States or Canada are likely to encounter, the list of possible woods is usually much shorter. This article is meant to act as sort of a “Cliffs Notes” to help address the most common (and hopefully, obvious) questions of...

Worldwide Woods, a new poster

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjAfSffIQdA Temporarily unavailable! Please use the email signup list below to be notified as soon as the poster becomes available for sale. Over 500 worldwide woods pictured 24" wide (61 cm) x 36" tall (91 cm) Divided into 8 geographical regions $30 (shipped by Amazon.com) Alder, Red (Alnus rubra) Ash, Black (Fraxinus nigra) Ash, Green (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) Ash, White (Fraxinus americana) Aspen, Bigtooth...

The Periodic Table of Wood

Woods featured on the poster: [expand title=”NORTH AMERICA (27 species)”] Alder, Red Ash, White Baldcypress Basswood Birch, Yellow Box Elder Butternut Cedar, Eastern Red Cedar, Western Red Cherry, Black Chestnut, American Elm, Red Fir, Douglas Hickory, Shagbark Locust, Black Maple, Hard Oak, Red Oak, White Osage Orange Pine, Southern Yellow Poplar, Yellow Redwood Sassafras Spruce, Sitka Sycamore Walnut, Black Walnut, Claro...

Red Alder

Red Alder (Alnus rubra) Common Name(s): Red Alder, Western Red Alder Scientific Name: Alnus rubra Distribution: Coastal western North America Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 28 lbs/ft3 (450 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .37, .45 Janka Hardness: 590 lbf (2,620 N) Modulus of Rupture: 9,800 lbf/in2 (67.6 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,380,000 lbf/in2 (9.52 GPa) Crushing Strength:...

About the Project

How “The Wood Database” got started… It all began back in April of 2007; I had recently checked out some wood identification books at the library, and I wanted a way to organize all of the most helpful data into a single reference file on my computer. After cataloging the wood’s common and scientific names, weight, approximate cost, and any other notes or observations that I thought were unusual to that species of wood, I...

Differences Between Hard Maple and Soft Maple

by Eric Meier Perhaps you’ve seen a type of lumber for sale known as “Soft Maple,” and were wondering: what’s the difference between between this Soft Maple and Hard Maple? Just how soft is it? Why does it cost about half as much as Hard Maple? How can I tell the two apart? Well, here are the answers: What’s the Difference? Hardness of Maples Compared Telling the Two Types of Maples Apart   What’s the...

Nepalese Alder

...Nepalese Alder (Alnus nepalensis) Common Name(s): Nepalese Alder, Utis...

Hophornbeam

Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) Common Name(s): Hophornbeam, American Ironwood Scientific Name: Ostrya virginiana Distribution: Eastern North America Tree Size: 40-60 ft (12-18 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 49 lbs/ft3 (785 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .63, .79 Janka Hardness: 1,860 lbf (8,270 N) Modulus of Rupture: 14,100 lbf/in2 (97.2 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,700,000 lbf/in2 (11.72 GPa) Crushing...

European Alder

European Alder (Alnus glutinosa) Common Name(s): European Alder, Black Alder, Common Alder Scientific Name: Alnus glutinosa Distribution: Western Europe Tree Size: 65-80 ft (20-25 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 31 lbs/ft3 (495 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .38, .50 Janka Hardness: 650 lbf (2,890 N) Modulus of Rupture: 11,000 lbf/in2 (75.9 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,303,000 lbf/in2 (8.99 MPa) Crushing...

Wood Allergies and Toxicity

by Eric Meier “Not to omit any one of them, the yew is similar to these other trees in general appearance . . . It is an ascertained fact that travellers’ vessels, made in Gaul of this wood, for the purpose of holding wine, have caused the death of those who used them.” –Pliny the Elder, from Naturalis Historia, ca. 77 AD Looking at the above quotation, (taken from a writing nearly two thousand years old), ought to bring—at...

Wood Finishes: What Works When

by Eric Meier “What’s the best type of wood finish to use for this wood?” I’m always amused when I get asked this question, as if there is only one single “right” finish to use for a given wood species. The real answer would be, “it depends…” It all depends on what type of look you’re going for, what level of protection you want, how much maintenance you’re willing to do, etc....

State Trees of the United States

State State tree Scientific Name Alabama Longleaf Pine Pinus palustris Alaska Sitka Spruce Picea sitchensis Arizona Blue Palo Verde Parkinsonia florida Arkansas Loblolly Pine Pinus taeda California Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia Sequoia sempervirens and Sequoiadendron giganteum Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens Connecticut White Oak Quercus alba District of Columbia Scarlet Oak Quercus coccinea Delaware American Holly Ilex opaca Florida...

American Hornbeam

American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) Common Name(s): American Hornbeam, Blue Beech Scientific Name: Carpinus caroliniana Distribution: Eastern North America Tree Size: 35-40 ft (10-12 m) tall, 1.5-2 ft (.5-.6 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 49 lbs/ft3 (785 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .58, .79 Janka Hardness: 1,780 lbf (7,920 N) Modulus of Rupture: 16,300 lbf/in2 (112.4 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,693,000 lbf/in2 (11.68...

Wood Identification Guide

by Eric Meier When attempting to identify a wood sample, it’s important to keep in mind the limitations and obstacles that are present in our task. Before starting, please have a look at The Truth Behind Wood Identification to approach the task in a proper mindset; I consider the linked article to be required reading for all those visiting my site with the intent of identifying wood. 1. Confirm it is actually solid wood. Before...