They are usually bright green, turning yellow in autumn. For sharp bending, the fold should be scored (scratched) first with a blunt stylus. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd, 2002. p. 152. Silver Birch is widespread in Britain, Down Birch is more common in the Scottish Highlands and the others are introduced species or varieties planted in parks, gardens or urban settings for their striking bark. The Japanese monarch birch (B. maximowicziana) is a valuable timber tree of Japan, especially in the plywood industry. The strong and water-resistant cardboard-like bark can be easily cut, bent, and sewn, which has made it a valuable building, crafting, and writing material, since pre-historic times. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. It has been suggested that this article be. Gray birch, paper birch, river birch, sweet birch, yellow birch, and white birch are the best known; white birch is usually called silver birch in England, but the latter name is also sometimes given to paper birch and to yellow birch. It is sometimes called red birch, black birch, or mountain birch. Swamp birch (B. pumila), a similar but smaller shrub, is found on boggy sites; it may be erect or trailing and matted. Here are six species or varieties. Premium Membership is now 50% off! Updates? Most require moist, sandy, and loamy soil; they are usually propagated by seeding or grafting. The egg-shaped or triangular, usually pointed leaves have toothed margins; they are alternately arranged on the branchlets. Black Friday Sale! Birch oil and birch beer made from sap are obtained from the trees. Several Chinese birches and the Japanese white birch (B. platyphylla japonica) are sometimes used ornamentally. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Woodsmen rely on the ability of yellow and paper birch bark to burn even when wet. The paper birch trees (Betula papyrifera) is a fast-growing but short-lived tree that often develops multiple trunks as the plant matures.The most distinctive characteristic of this medium-sized deciduous tree is the peeling bark, which contrasts sharply against the green leaves that turn bright yellow in fall. Birches were among the first trees to become established after the glaciers receded. Removing the inner layer prevents the flow of sap, which will eventually kill the tree if enough bark is removed. However, there is a danger that the tree will be injured in the harvesting process and many people do not like the look of a tree that has been harvested. Other uses include: Birch bark also makes an outstanding tinder, as the inner layers will stay dry even through heavy rainstorms. Omissions? Birch Bark and Its many Uses. Many ornamental varieties are cultivated for their leaf colour, leaf shape, or growth habit. Containers such as wrappings, bags, baskets, boxes, or quivers were made by most societies well before pottery was invented[citation needed]. The thin, water-impervious bark provided roofing, canoes, and shoes for North American Indians and early settlers. This article was most recently revised and updated by, USDA Forest Service - How to Grow and Maintain a Healthy Birch Tree, The Spruce - Meet 12 Species and Cultivars of Birch Trees, birch - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), birch - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). For several years after a tree has been harvested the tree's bark will be black. A birch has smooth, resinous, varicoloured or white bark, marked by horizontal pores (lenticels), which usually peels horizontally in thin sheets, especially on young trees.On older trunks the thick, deeply furrowed bark breaks into irregular plates. This page was last edited on 5 November 2020, at 10:06. Birch bark or birchbark is the bark of several Eurasian and North American birch trees of the genus Betula. On older trunks the thick, deeply furrowed bark breaks into irregular plates. Birch trees can be identified by their distinctive bark. Usually 30 metres (100 feet) high, with flaking gray or orange-gray bark, it has heart-shaped leaves about 15 centimetres (6 inches) long and is a hardy ornamental. Removing birch bark from live trees is harmful to tree health and should be avoided. Browse 1,477 birch tree bark stock photos and images available, or search for birch trees or silver birch tree to find more great stock photos and pictures. Normally the proportion of xylem to leaves supplied by that xylem is greater in plants growing in dry habitats than in plants found in wet ones and may be as much as 700 times greater in certain desert plants than…, The birch zone extends from 3,000 to 3,900 feet (900 to 1,200 metres) above sea level, above which there is a willow belt that includes dwarf birch.…, In birches, for example, the leaf perceives the day-length “signal” and transmits inhibitory materials to the apex, thus bringing growth to a stop and inducing the formation of a resting bud. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Some of those products (such as betulin) also have fungicidal properties that help preserve bark artifacts, as well as food preserved in bark containers. Removing birch bark from live trees is harmful to tree health and should be avoided. Short, slender branches rise to a narrow pyramidal crown on a young tree; they become horizontal, often pendulous, on an older tree. Corrections? Even today, birch bark remains a popular type of wood for various handicrafts and arts. Hayes, Derek. Short, slender branches rise to a narrow pyramidal crown on a young tree; they become horizontal, often pendulous, on an older tree. The peeling white bark blends well with winter's snowy surroundings. The name bog birch is applied to a species of buckthorn, as well as to B. glandulosa.

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