Poplar wood is a type of wood that is often classified both as a hardwood and a softwood — depending on where you look and who you ask. However, both categorizations can be considered to be correct. It is considered to be one of the hardest types of softwoods in some circles, while being classified a hardwood at the softer end of the scale in others.
The appearance of the wood will vary between species, but generally, the sap wood is creamy white and the heart stock, golden brown. Paper birch is predominately sap wood, with small brown knotty hearts. The wood is mostly white but as it nears the core will show brown flame patterns, with white sap edges.. quite dramatic. Yellow birch on the other hand, tends to be a larger tree and exhibits a more consistent golden brown colour, with little creamy white sap wood. Often yellow birch shows a nice curl pattern. In commercial operations, unlike maple,it is rarely sorted for colour.
Poplar vs. Birch Plywood
When comparing poplar plywood vs birch plywood, it’s important to consider grade first and foremost. Both products are versatile, and both come in a variety of different thicknesses to satisfy the needs of model builders, contractors, and furniture makers alike.
Color Variation: Poplar typically displays less color variation than birch.
Knot Size: Poplar typically displays smaller knots than birch.
Quality: Overall, poplar plywood quality and birch plywood quality vary widely depending on the source, the manufacturer, and the grade. It’s a good idea to weigh your options carefully when deciding on the best plywood for your project as no two products are exactly alike.
Hardness: Birch plywood is harder than poplar plywood.