White Birch

Botanical Name: Betula papyrifera
Common Names: Paper Birch, Canoe Birch, Silver Birch


Key Products


Key Statistics

Specific Gravity: 0.51
Density (Dry, kg/m3): 571
MOE (Dry, MPa): 12900
MOR (Dry, (MPa): 47.2
Hardness (Side, N): 4320
Colour - Sapwood: Whitish yellow
Colour - Heartwood: Dark or reddish brown
Machining: Excellent to good
Fastening: Excellent to good
Finishing: Satisfactory

Species Description

A native Alberta species, this tree is easily recognized by its smooth, white peeling bark. Intolerant of shade, white birch thrives on burned-over and cutover areas. Within Alberta, white birch constitutes only 3% of the province’s hardwood inventory and 1% of total provincial forest inventory. 

Commercially, white birch is used for pulpwood, veneer, plywood and lumber. In Alberta, white birch is predominantly used in combination with aspen and balsam poplar in the manufacture of both hardwood chemi-thermo-mechanical (CTMP or high-yield) and Northern Bleached Hardwood Kraft (NBHK) pulps.

White birch has the potential to produce high-value lumber used for furniture, cabinets, flooring and other millwork items. White birch is of moderate availability in Alberta due to its low proportion of the provincial forest inventory.