Birch (Betula)

Table of Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Description
    1.   1.1  Types
  2.   2.  Uses
    1.   2.1  Food
    2.   2.2  Bark
    3.   2.3  Wood
  3.   3.  More
  4.   4.  'Souls
Common Name Birch
Latin Name Betula (genus)
Icon(s) Birch leaves

"Paper Birch Stand (Betula papyrifera)"
by Joshua Mayer (flickr.com)

1.  Description

Birch is a broadleaved deciduous hardwood tree. The bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long, horizontal lenticels, and often separates into thin, papery plates, especially upon the paper birch.

1.1  Types

Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)

A medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 60 feet tall (18m) (exceptionally to 130 feet) (40m). They live to about 140 years. The bark is white, commonly brightly so, flaking in fine horizontal strips, and often with small black marks and scars. The leaf buds are conical and small. They are green-colored with brown edges.

Growth

Very Common -- This is a pioneer species; for example, it is frequently an early invader after fire in Black Spruce Boreal forests.[4] B. papyrifera requires high nutrients and sun exposure. It is found especially therefore in the Ashes and Ashes region, as well as the southernmost parts of The Waste and Whisper Beach, as both areas have suffered fires.

Uses

  • Wood: Paper Birch has a soft, moderately heavy white wood. It does not have high value as a crafting wood, yet it can be used nonetheless: e.g., Wikipedia:Wiigwaasi-makak, birchbark boxes.
  • Firewood: It makes excellent high-yielding firewood if seasoned properly. Its bark is an excellent fire starter, burning at high temperatures even when it's wet.

Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

It is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 20 m tall (exceptionally to 30 m). The bark is smooth, yellow-bronze, flaking in fine horizontal strips, and often with small black marks and scars.

Growth

Very Common -- Found throughout 'Souls forests in great number.

Uses

  • Scent: The twigs, when scraped, have a slight scent of wintergreen.
  • Wood: The wood of the Yellow Birch was extensively used for flooring, cabinetry and toothpicks. Most wood sold as birch in North America was from this tree.

Gray Birch (Betula populifolia)

Gray birch grows quickly to 7 to 9 m tall and 0.3 m trunk diameter, with an irregular open crown of slender branches. The tree often has multiple trunks branching off of an old stump. The bark is chalky to grayish white with black triangular patches where branch meets trunk. It is smooth and thin but does not exfoliate as readily as other Birch species.

Growth

Very Common -- Found throughout 'Souls forests in great number. Short-lived, it is a common pioneer species on abandoned fields and burned areas.

Uses

  • Scent: The twigs, when scraped, have a slight scent of wintergreen.
  • Wood: The wood of the Yellow Birch was extensively used for flooring, cabinetry and toothpicks. Most wood sold as birch in North America was from this tree.

2.  Uses

  • Leaves are used for dyes and cosmetics.

2.1  Food

  • Birch syrup: This boiled sap product is similar to maple syrup (albeit more difficult to produce). Birch beer is another possibility.
  • Birch Sap: The sap may be consumed both fresh and naturally fermented. Birch sap must be collected during a specific time of the year, at the break of winter and spring when the sap moves intensively, typically between the first thaws and the start of bud development.
  • Birch leaves are used to make a diuretic tea.

2.2  Bark

  • Birch Tar: This birch bark extract is waterproof; it was used as a glue on, for example, arrows, and also for medicinal purposes. Birch tar is an effective repellent of snails and slugs. Birch tar has a wintergreen and leather scent.
  • Birch bark can be soaked until moist in water, and then formed into a cast for a broken arm.
  • Ground birch bark, fermented in sea water, is used for seasoning cloth for seafaring (e.g., wool, hemp, linen sails, hemp rope).
  • Many of the First Nations of North America prized the birch for its bark, which due to its light weight, flexibility, and the ease with which it could be stripped from fallen trees, was often used for the construction of strong, waterproof but lightweight canoes, bowls, and wigwams.

2.3  Wood

  • Birch wood is fine-grained, with an attractive pale color and satin sheen. Rippling may occur.
  • Birch plywood is light but strong, and has many other good properties.
  • Birch wood is resistant to decay, due to the resinous oil it contains.

3.  More

4.  'Souls

  • Hey, did your character do something cool with this plant?
  • Or maybe your pack has it for trade?
Categories: Flora | Resources