Commercial names: English, Finnish, Swedish birch according to origin. Also Karclian, masur, ice, flame, etc., according to figure displayed. Distribution: Throughout Europe and UK, and Scandinavia. General description: Cream-white to biscuit in colour, it is straight grained and fine textured, and lustrous. Flame and curly birch, ice birch etc., is caused by grain deviations. The flecked cambium figure of masur birch may be caused by external factors such as insect attack by the larvae of Agromyzia carbonaria, by chemical injury, climatic stress, or from internal genetic abnormalities. Weight varies from 600-700 kg/m3 (37-43 Ib/ft3), specific gravity .66. Mechanical properties: Has good steam bending properties but is not tolerant of pin knots. It has high bending and crushing strength with medium stiffness and resistance to shock loads. Seasoning: Liable to fungal attack so must be dried very rapidly; there is a tendency to distort. Small movement in service, Working properties: Works without difficulty with hand and power tools. but inclined to be woolly. To prevent tearing when planing crossgrained material or around knots reduce the cutting angle to 15° There is a moderate blunting effect on cutters. Pre-bore for nailing near edges with irregular grain. Glues well and can be stained and polished to good finish. Durability: The wood is perishable and subject to attack by common furniture beetle. It is moderately resistant to preservative treatment, but the sapwood is permeable. Uses: High-class joinery, furniture drawer sides, legs and framing, cabinet interior fitments, upholstery framing, dowels, bobbins, brushes, brooms, and general turnery, flooring. It is the principal wood used for plywood in Finland and the USSR. Highly prized decorative veneers for panelling and marquetry. impregnated for posts. Also used for ice cream spoons, etc.