The bark of all birch is characteristically marked with long, horizontal lenticels. The colour of the bark can vary from grey, white, black, silver or yellow and the species is often named accordingly. Fragrant twigs of silver birch are used in saunas to relax the muscles.
The wood from Birch, which is pale brown, is soft and even grained. Good walking sticks can be made from Birch as the wood is both lightweight and strong. The sanded or shaved shanks respond nicely to finishing with linseed oil and varnish.