Yellow Birch Tree - Wood, Veneer and Wood Pellets

A Yellow Birch tree plantation can earn $50,000 per acre. Thinned Yellow Birch trees earn additional income when as wood pellets.

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Yellow Birch trees are grown for timber; veneer and wood pellets in tree plantations that grow clear grained and knot free timber for high end cabinetry, furniture and flooring. Yellow Birch ranges from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Anticosti Island west through southern Ontario to extreme southeastern Manitoba; south to Minnesota and northeastern Iowa; east to northern Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania to northern New Jersey and New England; and south in the Appalachian Mountains to eastern Tennessee and northeastern Georgia. Yellow Birch is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching heights of 80 feet with a trunk up to 4-feet in diameter. The bark is smooth, yellow-bronze, flaking in fine horizontal strips, and often with small black marks and scars. Most wood sold as Birch in North America is from this tree.

yellow birch tree seeds
birch bark birch wood

Yellow Birch Wood

Yellow Birch wood is heavy, strong, close-grained, even-textured, and shows a wide color variation, from reddish brown to creamy white. It is used for furniture, cabinetry, charcoal, pulp, interior finish, veneer, tool handles, boxes, woodenware, and interior doors. The wood can be stained and takes a high polish. Yellow birch is one of the principal hardwoods used in the distillation of wood alcohol, acetate of lime, charcoal, tar, and oils.

Yellow Birch Wood Products

  • Yellow Birch dimensional lumber
  • Yellow Birch flooring
  • Yellow Birch furniture
  • Yellow Birch cabinetry
  • Yellow Birch charcoal
  • Yellow Birch pulp
  • Yellow Birch wood pellets
  • Yellow Birch veneer
  • Yellow Birch tool handles
  • Yellow Birch boxes
  • Yellow Birch interior doors

Birch Wood

Although Yellow Birch wood generally appears sometimes in field collections, Yellow Birch tree seedlings don't tend to be commercially available at nurseries due to its slow growth rate of between 3 and 6 inches per year. With 3 feet of growth each season, our seedlings are entirely unique to the marketplace. Unlike conventional nursery seedlings that can take up to 60 years or more to mature after they’re transplanted, our Yellow Birch seedlings grown from seed can be harvested for veneer in just 30 years and timber in only 40 after transplant. Our proprietary growing system and specialized planting and management methods, encourage Yellow Birch seedlings to concentrate most of their energy “fattening up in the field” rather than growing in all directions for 60 years or more.

The following comments where collected from a national wood products discussion forum using Yellow Birch wood in the United States.

Comment from contributor A:

Yellow Birch hardwood flooring is a happy medium between the hardness of hard maple, and the stability of red oak.  It’s got the close grain pattern similar to hard maple, slightly softer, and with more of a golden color spectrum. Yet, it approaches the stability of red oak. So, if you’re looking for a natural floor that is akin to a maple, with a level of easy workability akin to a red oak, yellow birch may be a hardwood floor species to look into. I personally really like the golden tones of this species, perfect for bringing a bit of brightness to a space.

Comment from contributor B:

We sell a lot of birch hardwood at our flooring business here in New York State.  It’s quite popular because of its durability and unique color variations. Most of our planking is the standard 3 and 4-inch widths in 7 and 6-foot lengths. We often get requests for a wider plank and I sure wish we could offer it because we could charge twice or three times standard planking for 10 and 12-inch sizes, but we just can’t get it. Year after year we see the availability of planking sizes get smaller and smaller while the prices continue to rise.

Comment from contributor C:

Jerry Ashcroft’s family has been farming for more than 200 years in a small town near the Quebec border. “All the farms around us have small woodlots for firewood and timber” says Mr. Ashcroft, we cut timber from our 50 acres every 5 years to supplement our farm income.” This year, I wish we had more birchwood; demand has skyrocketed since the province of Quebec laid off most of its forest workers due to the low number of harvestable trees.

Comment from contributor D:

A friend of mine suggested I consider tapping my birch trees for syrup just like they do when they make maple syrup. It turns out you can make more money from birch syrup that maple  - a delicacy I’m told. Syrup from birch trees – who knew!

Comment from contributor E:

My wife and I are considering starting a tree plantation on our property here in Ohio. Others in the area have done a similar thing planting Christmas trees, pines and poplars. We were thinking of planting hardwoods just because they are worth more and there doesn’t seem to be may hardwood tree plantations around. After a little research, we found out that we could make quite a lot of money planting a high density Yellow Birch hardwood plantation mainly because of the current shortage and its high commercial value. “We think we would be ahead of the curve with this because we can’t seem to find nurseries that sell Yellow Birch; we would have to contract them to grow these for us.”

Yellow Birch North American Growing Zones

Yellow Birch tree native growing areas are concentrated in Eastern Canada and the United States, with the highest concentration in the province of Quebec. Although native to Eastern North America, Yellow Birch trees may also be grown in microclimate areas of the Western States and Canada, principally the coastal interiors of British Columbia and Washington State.

yellow birch plant zones

Growing Yellow Birch Trees

Yellow Birch timber is harvested much sooner. Tree Plantation has developed a commercial variety of Yellow Birch tree that will grow much faster than typical Yellow Birch seedlings. Researchers at the company have created Yellow Birch tree seedlings from the best cultivars that displayed rapid terminal bud growth, straightness, minimal branching and diameter growth for faster timber production.

Birch Tree Plantations

Yellow Birch tree wood is becoming more rare as the few remaining large diameter yellow birch trees are cut from the natural forest. Yellow Birch wood is so rare that lumber companies are approaching farmers to log birch trees from private wood lots – and they are paying big bucks to do so.

Calculate the number of trees per acre and spacing between Yellow Birch trees

Yellow Birch Tree Plantation Costs

Yellow Birch tree plantation costs average between $500 and $1,000 per acre depending on how many acres are planted per project – the more acres planted the lower the cost. An average of 800 trees per acre is common. A thinning program should be initiated during year 10 cutting every second tree so the remaining trees size up. On average, the thinned trees will increase two times diameter compared to a plantation with no thinning. Because Yellow Birch is an under story tree, a semi-shade spot is essential for maximum growth and yield.

Note* It is important to transplant seedlings that are at least 3 years old and 3 feet tall so they will survive the first and second winters. It is also advisable to use tree shelters or security fencing to protect young birch tree seedlings from grazing deer. Starting a Yellow Birch plantation with tall 10-foot tree seedlings will eliminate the need for shelters and fencing.

Note* Co-mingling other tree species will improve the health of the plantation. Tree species such as white pine and/or paper birch would be suitable candidates.

Invest In A Yellow Birch Tree Plantation

Depending on market conditions, a Yellow Birch tree plantation can earn gross revenue between $25,000 and $50,000 per acre in year 35 and double that in year 50. In year 10, thinned Yellow Birch trees may be sold and/or converted into high BTU value wood pellets.

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