Hevea Wood (Rubberwood) vs Birch | Uses, Identification, and Workability

Hevea Wood (Rubberwood)

Hevea Wood (Hevea brasiliensis) is commonly known as Rubberwood, Plantation hardwood, Parawood, Malaysian oak. It is low-density hardwood and native to brazil but extensively cultivated in Asia.

Before the 20th century, rubberwood was rarely used for making furniture Because the wood was prone to be affected by fungus and insects. But in the late 20th and early 21st century, many chemicals were developed to protect the wood against fungal and insect attacks.

Birch (Betula)

Birch is a deciduous hardwood tree native to the northern part of North America. Its family includes about 30 to 60 species of small to medium-sized trees or shrubs. Due to the declining population of some species, it is rare.

It is mainly cultivated because of its ornamental and high-quality wood. The popularity of birch wood has been increasing since the 20th century.

#Hevea WoodBirch (Yellow Birch)
Scientific name:Hevea brasiliensisBetula
Tree height:75-100 ft (23-30 m) tall, 1-3 ft (.3-1 m) trunk diameter65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter
Dried weight:37 lbs/ft3 (595 kg/m3)43 lbs/ft3 (690 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness:960 lbf (4,280 N)1,260 lbf (5,610 N)
Wood color:medium brownLight reddish-brown
Type:HardwoodHardwood
Workability:Easy to workEasy to work
Uses:Furniture, cabinetry, interior millwork, and other small, specialty wood items.Plywood, boxes, crates, turned objects, interior trim, and other small specialty wood items.

Hevea Wood vs Birch uses

Hevea wood (rubberwood) uses

Furniture: Rubberwood has a dense grain with an open texture. It is a great option to make indoor furniture. Naturally, rubberwood is resistant to burning and eco-friendly. So it can be used to make a kitchen platform. It has low rot-resistant properties but is not suitable for outdoor furniture.

It’s quite a durable, Cost-effective hardwood. Rubberwood is a great alternative to oak, maple, or cherry. Because It has a similar density and weight as maple or ash.

Flooring: Hardwood is considered better for flooring because it is durable and stable. Rubberwood is the wood species preferred for flooring. Because of its medium hardness, less prone to dents and scratches.

Wood items: Rubberwood has excellent workability. It can be easily curving and turning. Therefore it is considered a better option for making decorative items.

Rubber tree uses

Rubber trees produce the raw material (latex), That used to manufacture natural rubber. Trees are widely cultivated for the rubber industry. The latex is collected by peeling off or cutting the inner bark of the rubber tree.

Birch Wood Uses

Furniture: Birch is strong and durable, used in almost any indoor woodworking project. Its light color gives a decent look to the furniture. But birch wood is not good for outdoor uses. It has no rot-resistant properties. 

Plywood: Almost all species of Birch are used for making plywood. It is less expensive compared to other hardwood plywood.

Boxes and Crates: A quality box requires strength as well as being lightweight. So that it is easy to transport. All species of birch are widely used for making durable and inexpensive boxes.

Other uses: Toothpicks, toy parts, and paper.

Working with Hevea Wood and Birch

Hevea Wood (Rubberwood) and Birch both are low-density and straight-grained hardwoods. So both kinds of wood are easy to work with hand and machine tools. But sometimes the irregular grain can cause the grain to tear out during machining operations but overall workability is good. 

Birch and Hevea Wood do hold nails and screws relatively well and glue up easily. But pre-drilling is a good one for nailing.

Hevea Wood and Birch are both light-colored and uniform look in terms of grain. Therefore these can be easily stained. There are many stains available in the market but the oil-based stain is generally a good way to go.

Allergies/Toxicity

Hevea Wood is not harmful in any way. No harm has been reported while burning or cutting it. While Birch is reported for common reactions simply include skin and respiratory irritation.

But any kind of wood dust can be harmful to the asthma patient. So be careful while doing woodworking. Cover your exposed skin and use glass for the eyes.

Hevea Wood (Rubberwood) vs Birch: Which is Rot Resistant?

Hevea Wood has low natural rot-resistant properties. Whereas Birch Wood does not have rot-resistant properties. Hevea Wood and Birch Wood are susceptible to fungal staining and insect attacks.

It is suitable for interior uses but decays if exposed to the environment. To make birch or rubber furniture last longer, keep it away from contact with soil and moisture.

Is Hevea wood and birch are Waterproof?

No, both these wood are not waterproof. It starts to rot due to exposure to moisture. Although no wood can be 100% waterproof, some wood species perform better in moisture for some time. Some species of wood are made waterproof by chemical treatment.

Difference between wood color

Hevea Wood colorBirch Wood color
Heartwood is light blonde to medium tan in color, sometimes with medium brown streaks. Whereas sapwood is milky white. 
Sapwood is not distinct from heartwood. Color tends to darken slightly with age.
Mostly birch Heartwood tends to be a light reddish-brown while the sapwood is nearly white. But there are many species of birch wood, So there may be a difference in their colors depending on the species. 
Birch develops a yellowish-red tint with age

Hevea Wood  vs Birch Tree Identification

Hevea Wood Identification

Its tree length is about 75-100 ft., But in the right climate, there can grow up to 150 ft tall.

Rubber tree leaves are thick, leathery, oval-shaped, and 8 to 12 inches in size. Its leaves can be dark green, deep maroon, or marked with yellow, cream, pink, or white.

The bark is some shade of brown. Cutting live bark releases latex from the inner bark. It is white like milk.

Birch Tree Identification

Birch trees typically grow between 40 and 100 ft. tall. The species name of Birch is based on the color of their bark. Such as white, silver, black, gray, or yellow birch.

Leaves are triangular or ovate-shaped with a rounded base. It can be 2” and 3” (5 – 7.5 cm) long. In fall, birch leaves turn spectacular shades of yellow, red, and orange.

Birchtree bark can be whitish-gray, gray, or silver, it is similar to thin paper, it can be peeled off by hand.

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