Ends of fletching of arrows were fastened with birch-tar and birch-tar-and-rawhide lashings were used to fix the blade of axes in the Mesolithic period.
Russia leather is a water-resistant leather, oiled with birch oil after tanning. This leather was a major export good from 17th and 18th century Russia, as the availability of birch oil limited its geographical production. The oil impregnation also deterred insect attack and gave a distinctive and pleasant aroma that was seen as a mark of quality in leather.
Birch tar oil is an effective repellent of gastropods. The repellent effect lasts about two weeks. The repellent effect of birch tar oil mixed with Vaseline applied to a fence lasts up to several months.
Birch tar oil is also used in perfumery as a base note to impart leather, tar, smoky, and wintergreen notes.
^ abcLindqvist I., Lindqvist B., Tiilikkala K., Hagner M., Penttinen O.-P., Pasanen T. & Setälä H. (2010). "Birch tar oil is an effective mollusc repellent: field and laboratory experiments using Arianta arbustorum (Gastropoda: Helicidae) and Arion lusitanicus (Gastropoda: Arionidae)". Agricultural and Food Science19(1): 1-12. doi:10.2137/145960610791015050.