I was surprised to see a red birch offering of some corbels at
osbornewood.com. (That would bolt on nicely to a visit in that
I am going to need 4 nice corbels for an island I'm commissioning for a
granite customer of mine.
The red birch corbel I'm looking at is more than twice the money than
the same piece made from cherry or even walnut, I ask:
WTF is so special about red birch?
Well, if you check your Latin text, you'll find what you have is "black"
birch. Up here they also call it cherry birch. Some say it's a species,
some say just a genetic sport of B leutea. Bark gets as black as cherry
bark when mature, even breaks up a bit rather than giving that thin peeling
It's pink when fresh cut, but when oiled, gets a sort of open-grained cherry
look to it. Pretty.
Ah, the unreliability of common names. Betula nigra is usually called River
or Red Birch. B. lenta is usually called black or sweet birch (has a
wintergreen taste and odor in the twigs) B. leutea is mostly called yellow
birch.(my most recent taxonomy source gives the name B. alleghaniensis so
scientific names are only a little more reliable).
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