There are many species of Birch Hardwood, with at least ten types that are commonly known around a variety of locations.
Alaska Paper Birch Hardwood (Betula Neoalaskana)
As the name implies, growth populations are generally found in Alaska and Canada. The trees in this species are fairly small, only around fifty feet high and two feet wide. While the sapwood is almost completely white, the bulk of Alaska Paper Birch has a reddish tint with smooth textures and closed pores. There is some variation in graining, lending to a few different applications for the wood. It can be used to make plywood, and can also be used for crating and interior trimming jobs, as well as some novelty uses.
Alder Leaf Birch Hardwood (Betula Alnoides)
Like Alaska Paper Birch, the coloring is generally red though the sapwood is much lighter. The grain is also similarly varied from somewhat wavy to almost completely straight with a consistently even texture and a tendency towards closed pores. One primary difference between Alder Leaf Birch and Alaska Paper Birch is that Alder Leaf comes from much larger trees, growing up to one hundred feet tall with 3-foot diameters. Located around India and Burma, these trees can be turned into lumber used for boxes, trim, and plywood.
Downy Birch Hardwood (Betula Pubescens)
While this wood grows in Asia, its prime locations around Greenland and Iceland have led to the common name of European White Birch. A fairly small species which can grow up to 65 feet tall, it can also run as small as only around thirty feet. The sapwood is almost white, with the reddish hue of the wood running fairly light as well. Used in crates and boxes as well as trimming, Downy Birch is also similar to other species in its class in that it is commonly used in plywood.
Gray Birch Hardwood (Betula Populifolia)
Gray Birch is a North American species which is even smaller than Downy Birch, maintaining only a 1-foot diameter and generally rising between twenty and forty feet tall. Despite the difference in size, many physical attributes of Gray Birch are shared between the previously mentioned species. These include coloring, graining, texture, and applications.
Masur Birch Hardwood
Masur Birch is not itself a species of wood, but rather a classification which refers to the graining of Downy and Silver Birch. The pattern of the grain is very specific, giving an appearance as if the wood has been bored into. Outside of the standard applications for birch species, it can also be used decoratively and is sometimes manufactured for veneer.
Paper Birch Hardwood (Betula Papyrifera)
Native to central and northern regions of the North American continent, Paper Birch is not primarily known for its attractiveness. While a similar color, graining, and texture to other species is present, Paper Birch is considered to look somewhat more bland. It can be used for trim and paneling as well as crating. This species is used to make both plywood and veneer.
River Birch Hardwood (Betula Nigra)
Native to the eastern states, River Birch grows well near water and can reach heights of one hundred feet and widths of three feet. With a somewhat wavy grain and closed pores, this smoothly textured wood sports a reddish hue and bright sapwood, seeing use in special products as well as traditional interior applications.
Silver Birch Hardwood (Betula Pendula)
Indigenous to southwestern regions of Asia as well as Europe, Silver Birch has an appearance which is somewhat similar to types of cherry wood. Despite the name, the wood is not too lustrous. In fact, the somewhat porous wood is very similar to other birches. Easy to shape, Silver Birch is common in both plywood and veneer, and can be used in paneling, crating, trim, and other assorted products.
Sweet Birch Hardwood (Betula Lenta)
Sweet Birch grows in the northeast areas of North America, generally growing to around one hundred feet tall with a 3-foot diameter. The wood decays easily and is sometimes host to insect infestations, but it also hosts a variety of useful applications. The pinkish or reddish wood can be used in trimming and boxes, and can also easily be used in both veneers and plywood.
Yellow Birch Hardwood (Betula Alleghaniensis)
The name of the species is fairly deceptive, as the coloring of the wood is just as light red as any other birch species. Used for plywood and veneers as well as crating and interior applications common to other similar species, Yellow Birch also carries a graining which is comparable to other birches. The same can be said of its texture. As with Sweet Birch, Yellow Birch is mostly seen in the northeastern portions of the North American continent.