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Sweet Birch

Discussion in 'Forestry and Logging Forum' started by newforest, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. newforest

    newforest ArboristSite Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I don't have much experience with this species. Right now, I am doing some "Crop Tree Release" for the U.S. Forest Service in Virginia. This means cutting less desirable species that are adjacent to valuable timber species. Usually that means cutting Red Maple sprout stems that are too close to, for example, a future #1 grade Red Oak seedling stem.

    But the stands have a lot of Sweet Birch. Does it have value as timber? What is it used for? Is it perhaps a species that is cut as timber, sometimes, but perhaps there is more of it available than the timber markets actually need?

    I ask because I have to decide, all day long, what to cut or not cut. Sometimes I wonder about cutting a completely perfect Sweet Birch just to help an Oak stem that will never make even #3 grade. But on this particular job, I am not actually selecting the future Crop Trees - they are already marked by someone else.

    Birch in general puzzle me. Some places I work, they want to manage for all the Birch they can get. Other places, people consider it a weed tree.
  2. madhatte

    madhatte It's The Water Staff Member

    Apr 19, 2009
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    Puget Sound
  3. PJM

    PJM ArboristSite Operative

    Sep 22, 2010
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    In WNY sweet birch (black birch) is just a weed tree. It is largely selected against during forest improvement treatments. It is commonly associated with hemlock-hardwood stands and there are concerns that it will become dominant when hemlock wooly adelgid infests and kills those stands.

    I'd pick a red maple stem to retain over most any sweet birch.

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