Plywood is often overlooked when comparing hardwoods. Birch has five varieties with no significant differences between them. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, Woodworker Source: Wood Database and Searchable Library Birch Betula Alleghaniensis, The Wood Database: Differences Between Hard and Soft Maple. All Rights Reserved. For the average homeowner, the differences may not be significant, but when you consider cost, the variance may add up. Exclusively from the point of aesthetics, most hand-selected soft maple varieties are considered more beautiful than birch or hard maple. grow around various habitats in the Northern Hemisphere. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. are other members of the birch family, Betulaceae. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. However one variety, yellow birch, is more widespread than others. These dry fruits persist on the branches well after the fall foliage drops. Acacia is beautiful a hard natural wood that is ideal for flooring type of the construction as it offers superb durability. mimic many of the same ornamental features of birch tree species. Birch: One of the toughest American woods, with fine grain and pleasing light tone similar to maple. Aspens also display golden yellow fall foliage. Both types of birch have a hardness of 4 on a scale of 1 to 5. Gardeners especially admire alder trees for their particularly long and showy catkin flowers in spring, which later yield cone-like fruits that change from green to brown. Birch and maple plywood cuts, machines and assembles just like any other plywood product. Yellow birch is a pale yellow-to-white wood with reddish-brown heartwood, whereas white birch has a whiter color that resembles maple. Carbide-tipped blades and knives are recommended. Birch grain patterns are similar to maple. Thanks to the wood's hardness, maple cabinets and furniture resist scratching better than birch. Alibaba.com offers 801 wood similar to birch products. Soft maple is easier to carve and shape by hand. Maple consistently comes in shades of white, cream or off-white. Hard maple is harder and has more density than birch. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, Sixty different species of birch trees (Betula spp.). Therefore, they share many similar features to birches. However, within the pines there are quite a few variations. Sixty different species of birch trees (Betula spp.) Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Soft maple grain patterns are hand-selected. Whereas, Birchwood is a good choice for furniture too. Birch and maple are both considered equally perishable, and susceptible to attack by bugs. Alder trees (Alnus spp.) On the Janka hardness scale, which ranks wood density, hard maple ranks 1,450. Poplars look like aspens which in turn mock many characteristics of birch trees. Birch is readily available … Birch is not used for flooring as much as maple. Maple has two varieties, hard and soft. Birches happen to belong to their own plant family named Betulaceae. Differences in plywood weight, density and durability are minimal, no matter the species. If your match is critical, cut your plywood with long face grain and miter the corners to make the legs. Poplar and aspen trees are closely related. Several species of aspen (Populus spp.) Wright holds a graduate diploma in environmental horticulture from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a Master of Science in public horticulture from the University of Delaware. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008. All the soft maple varieties rank lower than birch. Yellow birch ranks 1,260. Because it's more affordable, birch is used more often as a structural or building material for crates, concealed furniture parts, knobs, handles, kitchen items, chests, veneer and plywood. Birch and maple are domestic hardwoods with similar characteristics and appearances, but they do have variations. Others prefer the complex, complicated swirls that birch offers. Hard maple is roughly twice as hard as soft maple, and is often reserved for structural items like workbenches, and objects subject to high impact such as butcher blocks. If you're not dealing with high-end, raised panel doors, average cabinet sets are mainly made with plywood. Birches also attain an upright, single-trunked habit with open, graceful branching. Some people think birch is too wild, and prefer the subtle, consistent tone of maple. Video of the Day Because of innate hardness, maple and birch can be tricky to cut. Birch, with similar light colors, may contain streaks, swirls of brown or a reddish brown tint. Birch wood is fine-grained and pale in color with a satiny sheen. The cost of an average set of kitchen cabinets made with birch plywood is considerably less than that of maple cabinets with a comparable amount of maple plywood. Unless you are quite familiar with both alders and birches, you may not readily distinguish the two since their leaves, flowers and growth habits are so similar. However, if you're purchasing maple for a specific project, requiring strength over beauty, it's best to specify hard or soft. The quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) has a ghostly gray smooth bark. Burns and sometimes binding can occur when you're sawing or planing the woods, due to tension released when the boards are cut. ; 2004, "Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs"; Michael A. Dirr; 1997.
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