In yellow birch (B. alleghaniensis), sapwood is creamy yellow or pale white. Heartwood is light reddish brown, tinged with red. In sweet birch (B. lenta), sapwood is light colored and heartwood is dark brown, tinged with red.
Medium figuring, straight, closed grain. Even texture. Occasional curly grain or wavy figure in some boards..
Paper birch (B. papyrifera) is softer and lower in weight and strength than yellow or sweet birch. However, yellow birch is most commonly used for flooring. Boards can vary greatly in grain and color.
May be difficult to stain.