Facts about birch

We found 13 facts about birch

Pioneer tree of the northern hemisphere

Although it is associated mainly with the Central Europe landscape, anyone who thinks that this plant does not occur on other continents is wrong. Various species of birch are found from North America through Europe to Asia. It is known for its health-promoting properties, which have been used since ancient times. In addition to its healing properties, birch bark also provided food in difficult times. Since the 1870s, it has been appreciated by gardeners, thanks to whom many interesting decorative varieties were created.

Birches are plants from the family Betulaceae.

They can appear as both trees and shrubs. There are 30 to 60 species of birches, 11 of which are on the endangered species list.

They are pioneer plants.

Birches are among the first trees to inhabit new areas. They cover the northern hemisphere and occur in circumpolar and temperate climates.

Depending on the species, they can reach a height of 1 to 20 meters.

One of the taller ones is paper birch and the lower ones are dwarf birch. These plants also differ in the size of their leaves, which can be from 5 mm to 15 cm in length.

Their bark is very characteristic.

It is made of thin paper-like flakes, usually white. However, there are other species with dark gray and reddish bark.

These are monoecious and wind-pollinated plants.

This means that one individual has both male and female inflorescences. Male flowers bloom in autumn and are not covered with scales. They are equipped with two or three stamens with anthers. Female flowers overwinter in buds and develop only in spring. They are located on the tips of young leaf shoots.

The flowering time varies depending on the species.

Silver birch, for example, blooms from April to May. The fruits are formed at the end of summer (usually in early August).

Their fruits appear as small winged nuts.

Birch fruits are dispersed by the wind.

Birches are perennial plants.

The lifespan of a birch tree is approximately 140 years. The oldest living birch grows in Sweden. It probably began to sprout around 1750.

Birch bark is edible.

Of course, this is the inner bark, which can even be eaten raw in emergencies. Birch bark can also be dried and ground into flour. Both Native Americans and the first European colonizers prepared flour from the bark of these plants. Another way to prepare the bark is to cut it into strips and cook it into pasta.

In addition to its decorative values, it is a plant that has a positive effect on the human body.

Birch bark extract supports wound healing, which is why special ointments are prepared on its basis.

You can also consume birch sap.

It is called Succus Betulae and was already known in the early Middle Ages. It was consumed both as a refreshing and medicinal drink. Birch sap primarily has a positive effect on the urinary system.

In northern India, birch has great historical and cultural significance.

The thin bark that fell off the trunk in winter was widely used as writing paper. Birch paper is extremely durable and was the material from which many ancient Indian texts were made.

Plywood made of Baltic birch wood is an ideal product for the construction of speaker housings.

Birchwood resonates well, especially in the high and low tone peaks, which perfectly complements the gaps in frequencies that the speaker itself has problems with.

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