A medium-sized tree, common, sometimes forming forests ; most abundant in the Ohio and Mississippi basin, but found from Maine to Wisconsin and southward to Florida.
The wood of the beech is heavy, hard, stiff and strong, of rather a coarse texture and white to light brown in color. It shrinks and checks considerably in drying, but works and stands well and takes a good polish. The beech is used for furniture and flooring, and to a limited extent for inside finishing.
Birch. - The birches are medium-sized trees, forming extensive forests northward and occur scattered in all broad-leaved forests of the Eastern United States.
The wood is heavy, hard, strong and of fine texture ; the sapwood is whitish in color, the heartwood in shades of brown with red and yellow. It is very handsome when finished, takes a good polish and has a satiny lustre; shrinks considerably in drying but works and stands well.
Birch is now quite extensively used for inside finishing, and is one of our handsomest hard woods. The figured North Carolina birch ranks among our most expensive native woods.
The banquet hall of the Auditorium Hotel in Chicago is finished in birch.
Birch is often used to imitate cherry and mahogany, the grain of these woods being much the same.
Two varieties of birch are distinguished in the market: red birch and white (canoe) birch, the wood of the latter being lighter than that of the red birch.
Butternut ( White Walnut). - A medium-sized tree, largest and most common in the Ohio Basin, but found from Maine to Minnesota and southward to Georgia and Alabama. The wood is very similar to black walnut, but lighter and of a light brown color, quite soft and strong. It stands well, works easily and is well suited for inside finish, its cost, as a rule, being a little less than that of the other hard woods excepting ash.