Silver Birch Tree
The Silver Birch (Betula pendula) is a very recognizable tree primarly due to the white color of it's bark.
There are over 40 species of this genus in Europe, Asia, the Himalayas and North America; some grow even within the Arctic Circle in Iceland, Greenland and Alaska. All have their flowers in catkins, the males drooping, the females upright; the seeds
are small, often 3 million per kg.(1,400,00/lb) the leaves are alternate. The strikingly white bark, unusually tough and waterproof, is the dominant feature of many birches and has been used by mankind for thousands of years for a remarkable range of purposes, such as portable canoes by American Indians, roofing tiles by the Lapps and
Norwegians, leggings by the Lapps, tanning Russian leather, Swiss Alpenhorns, and writing paper, baskets and boxes. Most birch timber is strong, fairly hard but easily worked, variable in color from white to brown and used for such prposes as plywood, veneers, turnery, furniture, carvings and boxes, and for firewood in Canada, Scandinavia and the Alpine regions of Europe.
Two particularly poopular and valuable types are the black and brown flecked 'masur' birch of Sweden and the waby grained 'flamy' birch.
Common in Europe and Asia, this species grows to about 100ft, having a narrow form branches ascending when yourn but pendulous later, twigs with whitish warts, and doubly serrate pointed leaves. The white or pinkish-white bark is often marked with black
diamond-shaped ridges low on older trunks. In winter the twigs make a lovely purple haze against the sky.
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