Birch is the species of choice of Scandinavian wood carvers. It has an attractive figure, is easily obtainable and carves well. As a pioneer tree species with light wind blown seed birch trees will be one of the first species to grow as an area of land converts to woodland. The bark has a myriad of uses as well as the wood. 

Slow growing birch trees in the cold harsh windy climate of the Scandinavian north have very twisty growth ring patterns and is known as curly birch. It is used for making knife handles. 

In a woodland setting fallen birch wood will rot quickly -sometimes all that is left is a tube of bark- and so it is unsurprising that it spalts easily to produce interesting patterns. However it is a not a strong wood and spalting can easily rob it of its physical integrity. Freshly cut birch may typically have a moisture content of around 75%

Spalted birch log

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