Color: The sapwood has a tan to white color, while the heartwood has a brownish red color.
Uses: Cabinetry and furniture making. Substitute for American Cherry because they both have a similar grain pattern. The Red Birch is in high demand right now making it usually hard to find 100% red. The heartwood is a narrow streak that runs down the center of the board. A relatively strong hardwood that is available in short lengths and narrow widths.
Workability: Birch is a fairly workable wood, although it does have a tendency to "move" slightly. Paints and stains very well.
Plywood: Birch ply is always kept in stock and is available in both "white" and "natural". In some cases, Birch ply can be used as a Cherry substitute. The plywood can paint and stain well just like the lumber. Probably the most versatile plywood that's kept in stock.
Additional Info: Birch is usually very narrow, rarely comes in lengths longer than 10', and is hardly ever straight. The heartwood, or Red Birch, is hard to find in large quantities.