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10 types of birch trees

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Specifications reader site - Andrei Vladimirovich Repin:

Corrections concern the following text: There are many varieties of this tree, among which the most common are white or common birch (Betula alba), wart birch (Betula pubescens), and downy birch (Betula verrucosa). "

To date, such a taxonomy is not used.
1. Downy birch - this is Betula pubescens
2. Hanging birch now called hanging birch - this is Betula pendula
3. White birch - ustar.

Birch warty - V. verrucosa Ehrh. = V. pendula Roth

Distributed throughout the European part of Russia and beyond the Urals to the Ob River. One of the most popular birch trees, without which gardening does not do in Russia.

Tree up to 20 m tall, with openwork, irregular crown and smooth, white, exfoliating bark. In adult trees, the lower part of the trunk is covered with a powerful blackish crust, with deep cracks; this is what distinguishes it from most birch trees. The branches are mostly hanging, young shoots are warty. The leaves are rhombic, bare, up to 7 cm, resinous, sticky in youth. Earrings wilted. The fruit is an oblong-elliptical, winged nutlet.

It grows fast, hardy, undemanding to the soil, very light-requiring, drought-resistant. It has several forms, of which the most decorative: pyramid (f. Fastigiata) - with a narrow pyramidal crown, mourning (f. Tristis) - with very thin weeping branches that form a rounded crown, Jung (f. Joungii) - with a wrong, beautiful crown, with thin drooping branches, purple (f. purpurea) - with purple leaves, Karelian (f. carelica) - with a very sinuous trunk, a beautiful park tree, spectacular in single and group plantings on the lawn.

Paper birch - V. papyrifera Marsh. A powerful tree up to 30 m tall, with a broad dense crown. The bark of the trunk is bright white, in young trees it is pinkish, it is easy to peel off with leaf-like, transverse stripes. The paper name got its name for the whiteness of the bark. Young shoots are fluffy, later naked, dark brown, shiny. Leaves ovate, large (up to 10 cm long).

It grows quickly, hardy, unpretentious to the soil, but more moisture-loving and shade-tolerant than warty birch. Despite the great similarity, both birches are so different from each other that they can land in joint groups.

Cherry birch - V. lenta L. Very decorative North American look.

Tree up to 25 m tall, in youth with a pyramidal crown, in adult plants - with a rounded, with hanging branches. The bark of the trunk is dark, cherry-red (hence the name "cherry"). Young shoots slightly pubescent, later naked, red-brown. Its oblong-ovate, large, beautiful leaves are remarkable (12 x 5.5 cm). In their youth, they are silky, pubescent, adults — bright green above, shiny, dull green below, pubescent along the veins, becoming reddish-yellow in the autumn, very spectacular. In spring, it draws attention to itself with abundant, long, stapled earrings.

In youth, it grows quickly, winter-hardy, prefers deep, moist, well-drained soil. Durable. It can be recommended for widespread use in the alleys, single and group plantings from the latitude of St. Petersburg.

Birch - V. dalecarlica L. f. Homeland Scandinavian Peninsula, in a culture of a single across the European part of Russia.

A beautiful tree, similar in appearance to a birch, weeping, but differs from it in deeply dissected leaves with unequal-toothed edges. The plant grows in terms of normal birch. Hardy Propagated by budding awakening or sleeping kidney, graft cutting. It has an elegant decorative form (f. Gracilis) - with weeping branches and smaller and thinly dissected leaves than the typical form. It is used in a single landing at critical points of partners.

Daurian birch, or black - V. davurica Pall. It grows throughout the Far East, in Mongolia, North China, Japan, Korea. It is considered an indicator of soil suitability for farming.

Tree up to 25 m tall with a widely spreading openwork crown. It is easily distinguished from other species by the original bark: in young trees, it is pinkish or even slightly reddish, in old trees it is dark gray, sometimes even black-brown, cracking along. Birch bark periodically exfoliates and partially falls off, part of it remains hanging in scraps, giving the impression of curliness. The leaves are oval, dark green, in autumn - yellow-brown. It blooms after the blooming of the leaves. Bggatatsionny period she has a shorter than other birch trees.

Very light-requiring and demanding on the soil, but less demanding on soil moisture. Poor pruning and transplanting, suffers from soil compaction. Deserves wide use in order to diversify the range of parks and forest parks. Looks good in clean and group piercing on brightly lit areas.

Yellow birch or American - V. lutea Michx. Originally from North America.

Decorative large size (up to 30 m), an interesting color of the bark - silver-gray or light orange, on the old trunks - reddish-brown, and the shape of the leaf, similar to the leaves of a hornbeam, up to 12 cm, in the autumn yellow peculiar color.

The speed of growth and shade tolerance are average. Hardy Prefers moist but well-drained soil. Lives up to 300 years. Suitable for single, group and aleynyh landings to the south of St. Petersburg, with the exception of the arid south-east and subtropics. In the Asian part of Russia can be used in the south of Western Siberia and the south of the Far East.

Shrub birch, or Yernik - V. fruticosa pall. It grows mainly in swampy and damp places, often forming thickets - yerniki, in Yakutia, the Amur region and Northeast China. In culture it is extremely rare, although it can successfully be used as an ornamental shrub in well-humidified areas of parks and forest parks.

It belongs to the group of shrub birches, whose height does not exceed 2.5 m. The branches are erect. Bark of white trunks. The leaves are ovate or elliptic, small, with a rounded base, bright green. Fruitful earrings erect, with legs. Average resistant, drought-resistant. Propagated by seeds.

Small-leaved birch - V. microphylla Bunge Grows in the desert valleys of mountain rivers and swamps of Western Siberia, Altai, Mongolia.

Tree up to 15 m tall, often low and gnarled, growing as a shrub. The decorative feature of the species is yellowish-gray, sometimes pink bark, small leaves and a peculiar shape of the crown. Vegetation enters later than other species. It can be recommended for landscaping parks and forest parks in the form of single or group plantings, especially good along the banks of reservoirs.

Fluffy birch - V. pubescens Ehrh. Tree up to 15 m tall, with a pure-white trunk that does not form a dark crust at the base, with a broad, ovate crown formed upwards by directed branches. The bark of young branches is smooth, reddish-brown, later pure white. Young shoots are fluffy. The leaves are shiny, ovate or rhombic, up to 6 cm, sticky and fragrant when young. Unlike warty birch, ripe seeds are kept in earrings for a long time. In terms of ecology, it is close to it, but less demanding on the light, it tolerates shading better, marshy the soil, is more frost-resistant and further spread to the north.

It has a number of decorative forms: pyramidal (f. Fastigiata), egg-cell (f. Ovalis), rhomball-shaped (f. Rombifolia), nettle-leaved (f. Urticifolia).

Birch is ribbed or Far Eastern - V. costata trautv. Most suitable for harsh growing conditions. One of the distinguishing features of this species - exceptional shade tolerance. Young plants can only develop in the shade. In culture it is very rare, but it can certainly be recommended for parks and forest parks. The shaggy trunk, covered with brilliant light yellow bark, the peculiar shape of the crown give it an original look throughout the year. A common breed of foothills, companion conifer of the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories, Northeast China and North Korea.

Straight slender tree up to 30 m tall, with a spreading piercing crown. The largest birch of the Far East. Lives in favorable conditions up to 80-100 years. Shoots in youth shortly pubescent. The leaves are oblong-oval, with a strongly elongated pointed, dense, dark green, strongly pubescent in the period of blooming. In the autumn period are painted in a variety of yellow tones.
Demanding on soil moisture and air. It tolerates urban conditions, does not tolerate soil compaction, painfully reacts to pruning and transplanting. It can be recommended for landscape groups mixed with cedar and other conifers. It is very effective in combination with the Far Eastern maples: false-fibold, small-leaved, Manchurian.

Wool birch - V. lanata (Regel) V. Vassil. The representative of the mountain slopes, gaps, clarified places of dark coniferous forests of the subalpine belt of Eastern Siberia, the Far East and Korea.

Completely different from our birch tree, up to 15 m tall. Notable is the presence of pubescence on young twigs, as well as woolly or even felt-pubescent buds. The earrings are upwards directed. The leaves are broadly oval, up to 9 cm, from above along the veins with diffusely hairy. It belongs to the most cold-resistant deciduous species. By decorative and silvicultural properties similar to stone birch. Recommended for use in single and group plantings of gardens and parks.

Birch Herman, or stone - V. ermanii Cham. It is naturally distributed in Kamchatka, the Commander Islands, Sakhalin, the coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, the Kuriles, and Japan.

Tree up to 15 m tall, with a widely spread crown. The bark of the trunk is variously cracking, dark gray, brownish, chestnut gray or yellow-gray, often hanging on the trunks and branches with rags. Shoots densely warty. Ovate leaves (14 x 10 cm), dark green above, paler below. Very hardy, undemanding to the soil. It received its second name for its ability to grow on stony places where other birches do not grow.

As a very original plant can be used in single and group plantings. In culture since 1880.

Birch - description and characteristics.

These trees, with the exception of some dwarf species, reach 45 meters in height, and the trunk of a birch can reach 1.5 meters in girth. Young branches of birch trees are usually painted in a reddish-brown color and covered with small "warts". The buds on the branches are alternately arranged and covered with sticky scales. Small bright green leaves with pronounced veins have the shape of an equilateral triangle with two rounded corners, along the edges they are dissected by denticles. In spring, young birch leaves are usually sticky.

The birch bark covering the trunk may be white, yellowish, with a pink or brown tint. Some species are characterized by brown and gray color of the trunk. The upper part of the bark, bark, easily exfoliate from the trunk. Old trees below are covered with rough dark bark with deep cracks.

The birch root system is branched, superficial, with numerous thin processes or deep, with roots obliquely going deep. It depends on the conditions in which the tree grows. In the first years of life, it grows slowly, after 3-4 years the growth rate increases.

Where does birch grow?

Birch is a typical "inhabitant" of the Northern Hemisphere. Its range stretches from hot subtropics to areas with very harsh climates. In central Russia and in areas with moderate climatic conditions, these trees form light forests.

To soil the tree is unpretentious. Sandy and loamy soils are suitable for it, as well as black earth or depleted land. Birch loves moisture, so it can be found along the sea and river banks, as well as in the marshland. Dwarf birch trees grow even in permafrost and on dry rocky soil.

How to grow birch?

Those who decide to plant a birch tree on the plot of land need to know that it drains the soil strongly and acts depressingly on the surrounding plants. Therefore, it is not recommended to plant it next to fruit bushes and trees. The young sapling needs periodic watering and protection from strong winds, so it would be nice to tie it to a strong peg in the first six months of life.

Useful properties of birch.

For centuries, man has used birch in his economic activities. Firewood is used to heat the dwelling, and birch twigs are indispensable in the bath. Wood is used for the manufacture of souvenirs and household items. In the old days, tar was used as a lubricant for wheels, and today it has found wide application in perfumery and medicine.

In addition, for medicinal purposes, the buds and leaves of birch are used as a diuretic and bactericidal agent. Birch sap collected in early spring is used to prevent blood diseases. Tea made from chaga (birch mushroom) helps to relieve headaches, improves appetite and restores strength.

Warty (hung)

Wart birch is the most common of all species of this tree. It is able to grow to sizes of 25-30 meters and has a trunk circumference of up to 85 cm. The growing habitat of birch is quite wide and includes the whole territory of Europe, North Africa and Asia. The greatest number of them can be found on the territory limited on the one hand by Kazakhstan, and on the other - by the Ural Mountains.

This variety has good frost resistance, easily copes with a dry climate, but shows an increased need for sunlight.

Young trees of this species have brown bark color, which, when they reach the age of ten, changes to traditional white. The lower part of mature trees eventually becomes black and is covered with a network of deep cracks. Each branch of birch is covered with a large number of resinous growths, which are similar in appearance to warts, and the name of this tree actually comes from here. And she found the name “hanging” due to the property of the branches of young trees to hang down.

The tree looks like a birch tree.

Sufficiently large tree plantations can be found in Western Europe. On the territory of Russia it is found mainly in various parks, botanical gardens and forest stations. The name got its due to the fact that the ancient Indians used its bark as a written material. The crown is irregularly cylindrical in shape, the branches are rather thin and long.

In specimens whose age has not crossed the five-year boundary, the bark is brown with white lentils. Adult individuals have a white bark, sometimes with a pinkish tinge, completely covered with fairly long brown or yellowish lentils, and flaked off by horizontal plates.

Young branches bear down on themselves and rarely placed resinous glands of light brown or greenish hue. Over time, the branches become dark brown, shiny color and lose pubescence.

This type of plant got its name due to the color of its bark, which has a dark brown, almost cherry shade. This tree can grow up to 20-25 m in height and has a trunk girth up to 60 cm. The natural habitat area is limited to North America and Eastern European countries: the Baltics, the central part of Russia, and Belarus.

The bark contains a large number of irregularities and rassechin rather large sizes. In young trees, the bark has a rather pleasant aroma and a tart, spicy taste. Young shoots slightly pubescent, but with age they become bare and acquire a brown-red tint.

It is noteworthy that the buds of this species of trees, as well as the bark, bear a red-brown color.

Daurskaya (black)

Dahurian birch has exceptional demands on the soil, therefore the presence of this tree on the site is an indicator of the exceptional quality of the soil. Prefers for its growth loamy soil and sandy loam. The height of this plant varies from 6 to 18 m, and the trunk circumference can reach 60 cm. The range of natural growth is quite wide and includes the southern part of Siberia, Mongolia, the Far East of Russia, some regions of China, Japan and Korea.

The trunk of the tree is straight, the specimens growing in the southern parts of the world have branches that rise at an acute angle. Trees that grow in northern latitudes have a more spreading crown.

Yellow (American)

Yellow birch has some peculiarities, the main of which is that two different species of this tree are called so at once, one of which is found in Asia, and the other mainly in North America. This section deals with the second. Plant height is about 18-24 m, trunk girth can reach up to 1 m. In the wild, it is found on the territory of North America, in the largest quantities in its southern parts.

This species is distinguished by high shade tolerance; it prefers river banks and wetlands for its growth. Имеет блестящую кору золотистого либо желтовато-серого оттенка, которая очень хорошо поддается отслаиванию, густо покрыта продольными трещинами белого цвета.

Корень расположен довольно поверхностно, широко разветвленный. Young shoots are gray in color, on reaching the age of one year old they form white lentils on their surface.

Small-leaved

This type of tree has a rather small leaf size, only 1.5-3 cm long, rhombic-ovoid or obovate. In addition, it is quite small in size compared with other members of its family, only 4-5 m. The trunk circumference rarely exceeds 35-40 cm. The habitat of the species is limited to Western Siberia and the northern part of Mongolia.

The bark is yellow-gray in color, sometimes with a pinkish sheen, speckled with a large number of longitudinal stripes of black or brown color. Young branches abundantly littered with resinous wart-like growths and heavily pubescent, brown-gray tint.

Downy birch was previously also called white, but since this name is often applied to hung birch, it is now proposed to move away from this name in order to avoid confusion. The height is about 30 m, and the diameter of the trunk reaches 80 cm.

This tree can be found throughout the western part of Russia, Eastern and Western Siberia, the Caucasus Mountains and almost the entire territory of Europe. The bark of the young representatives of the plant has a brown-brown color, which changes to white after eight years of age. Often young individuals are confused with different types of alder.

In adult trees, the bark has a white tint almost to the very base of the trunk; it has no cracks and irregularities, with the exception of small segments near the ground. Young shoots are densely covered with downy, smooth.

The branches are not prone to wilting. Crohn at a young age rather narrow, but with age becomes sprawling.

Ribbed (Far Eastern)

This species of birch is sometimes also mistakenly called yellow. This tree is found in mountain forests, where its number can reach up to 60% of the total number of plants. It can reach a height of 30 m with a girth of the trunk, reaching up to 1 m. The natural habitat for it is the Korean Peninsula, China and the Far East of Russia.

The bark has a light yellow, yellow-gray or yellow-brown shade, shiny, can be smooth or slightly flaky. On very old specimens you can see areas of strong detachment. Young shoots have a short down.

Branches are brown, often bare, and occasionally contain resin glands on their surface of small size.

Schmidt (iron)

This species of birch is named after the Russian botanist Fyodor Schmidt, who first discovered these trees. Iron birch has characteristic features, one of which is that this plant is a long-liver, capable of surviving up to the age of 300-350 years.

The height of the trees reaches about 35 m with a trunk diameter of 80 cm. In the wild, they can be found in Japan, China and in the south of Primorsky Krai Russia.

The bark of the tree has a tendency to flaking and flaking, color - beige or grayish-cream. Young trees are brown in color. The bark of young branches is dark cherry color, which eventually turns into purple-brown. Sometimes branches contain a small amount of resinous glands.

Dwarf

Reminds branchy shrub, grows in Canada, in northern Russia.

Birch prefers mountainous or marshy terrain. The leaves are small, their upper part is darker than the bottom. The bark is brown, the trunk is smooth, with a cork layer.

This fluffy birch grows slowly, hardy.

In the northern regions, leaves are used as food for deer. The plant is well suited for landscape design.

Karelian

It grows in Karelia, Lithuania, north-western regions of Russia. Characterized by an unusual growth on the trunk - a mouthguard.

This subspecies of hanging birch, includes three varieties:

Because of the peculiar pattern, wood is used in the manufacture of sculptures and dishes. Karelian birch - a symbol of the north of Russia.

Rare species

Rare species:

  • Daur, or Korean, birch. The maximum height of the tree is 25 m. The leaves are oval, dark green. Growth requires a lot of light and moisture.. Wood is used for the manufacture of handicrafts, charcoal.
  • Squat. Unusual fluffy birch shrub. The maximum height is 2.5 m. It grows in the marshes of Western Siberia, in the Far East. On the oval leaves there are tarry warts. Blossoms in May. Used for the production of medicines, solid fuels.

  • Iron, or birch Schmidt. The wood of this plant does not burn, does not sink in water. You can meet on the rocks of China, Japan, in the southern Primorye. It reaches 20 m, the crown starts at 8 m. The bark is dark gray, brown. Life expectancy sometimes exceeds 400 years. Birch loves light, with an insufficient amount of it, the trunk leans. For household purposes, the tree does not apply.
  • Red It has an unusual bark that has a yellow-gray color, a small height, not more than 5 m. It grows in Kazakhstan. The tree is listed in the Red Book.
  • Stone, or birch Herman. It is found on Sakhalin, Kamchatka, in Japan. It has brown bark. Height - about 20 m. The tree is frost-resistant, prefers stony soil. Used for the production of coal, the manufacture of handicrafts.

What you need to know about the features of wood

Many species of birch trees are characterized by rapid growth, excellent adaptation to the environment. Almost always wood is easily processed, used on the farm.

Spheres of application:

  • manufacture of parquet or plywood for repair,
  • making skis
  • turning production
  • furniture manufacturing.

Wood does not rot for a long time. You can find items made over 500 years ago. Previously, trees were considered a symbol of well-being, people tried to plant birch near houses.

Birch wood is used to make furniture. Items made from it, expensive, high-quality, but their release is limited.

Physical and mechanical features of wood

  • Density. The material should have a proportional ratio of all parts. That is, if one is dry, the other should be at the limit of hygroscopicity. All types of birch trees used for making furniture have an average density. For later wood is characterized by 2 times greater density.
  • Strength. The strongest is black wood. It resists external damage and is characterized by low humidity. High strength in iron, weeping, fluffy birch.
  • Hardness. On the Brinell scale, birches have medium hardness, but are considered to be wear-resistant. Wood is suitable for making parquet. The hardest is iron birch (82 MPa).
  • Weight. The specific weight of dry wood is 3-5% less than wet. Moreover, if the birch was cut in the rainy period, the weight of the wood may increase by one third.
  • Thermal conductivity. Material poorly retains heat, is susceptible to cracking. Wood is highly valued as lumber, you can get a lot of heat from wood.
  • Humidity. Almost every species of birch is characterized by increased sensitivity to humidity. In order to prevent the deformation of crafts, small products are made of wood. With the help of forced drying, it is possible to reduce the humidity to 12%.

Conclusion

Birch is unpretentious, it is well accustomed to the new place. Application in the industry is developed narrowly. Exception - varieties with high hardness.

The main advantage is a large amount of heat released during combustion, long-term operation of products in dry rooms. These qualities allowed the use of the plant in the furniture industry, in the production of coal. Designers in the arrangement of large areas used birch as an element of decor. Trees are used in traditional medicine.

image of birch

Birch tree - the light beauty of Russian forests. Its trunks whiten in the forest, giving people joy, peace and hope. From time immemorial people have come to her for advice and comfort. Birch is the pride and symbol of the Slavs. It is often called the tree of life.

Birch tree for good reason is considered a sacred tree, a spiritual symbol. Since ancient times, she cares about man. Leaves - for health, branches - for brooms, bark for writing, crafts, tar and making fire, wood for heat.

Birch in Russia always associated with a young maiden with her purity, whiteness, and refinement. Branches Birch trees lean over the traveler, like women's hands, to enclose him in their affectionate embrace.

Where does birch grow?

Birch tree widespread throughout Russia and the Northern Hemisphere as a whole, even beyond the Arctic Circle. The birch is undemanding, well tolerates both heat and cold.

Dwarf Birch growing in the tundras of Europe and North America and the mountain tundras of Siberia. It does not reach and 1 m in height. In the glacial and postglacial periods, this Birch was spread much further south, now it is found there only in the swamps as a relic.

What does birch look like?

Birch is probably familiar to everyone. But still write a few words.

Birch tree - tall light wood with a spreading crown. It is always light in the Birch Forest, and not only because of the white trunks. Birch leaves are not large and the crown lets in a lot of light.

Birch height usually 15-30m. However, the century of birch is not long. Actually, 1st century. Birch usually lives about 100 years.

Birch bark most species are white. The outer part of the bark - birch - is usually easily peeled off with ribbons. In old birch trees, the lower part of the trunk is covered with a dark crust with deep cracks.

Birch leaves are small toothed, pointed at the end, sticky in spring.

Birch Flowers - earrings. Birch earrings are not all the same: there are men, there are women.

Men's earrings at Birch appear in the summer. At first they are standing and green, then gradually turn brown. Outside, the whole earring is covered with a moisture-impermeable resinous substance. In this form, the catkins winter.

In the spring, in March - May, the rod of the male catkins is extended, as a result of which the scales surrounding the flower open, and between them the yellow stamens become visible, liberally emitting pollen.

Women's birch catkins always sit on the side of the branch. During flowering, they are always shorter and narrower than men, which immediately fall down after pollination.

When to collect birch leaves?

Birch leaves need to collect in mid-May, as soon as the leaves no longer be sticky.

Harvested Birch leaves in May - June - birch leaves should be fragrant and sticky, young, and not coarse. For drying, birch leaves are placed on wide paper sheets in a dark, cool place with good ventilation.

Healing properties of birch

Main healing properties of birch: antimicrobial, wound healing, good anti-inflammatory properties, resorption ability - this is not a complete list of the remarkable properties of these leaves.

Diuretic and, most importantly, choleretic properties are often used by herbalists in a variety of collections.

Birch Application

Birch leaves have a rich composition - essential oils, volatile production, vitamin C, carotene, vegetable glycosides, tannins, nicotinic acid and other elements. A decoction of birch leaves is used as a disinfectant and antiseptic, diuretic and choleretic drug.

Infusion from birch leaves more saturated, so it is used for local treatment. Alcohol and essential substances that contain birch leaves have antimycotic and antiviral effects. Tannins, which are rich in birch leaves, have bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties. Phytoncides and flavonoids are antioxidants that absorb free radicals, so Birch leaves can rejuvenate cells and tissues, restore them.

Infusion from young leaves of birch, they are used as a stimulant, they are used for disorders of the nervous system, renal colic, jaundice, as an anti-inflammatory and vitamin remedy.

Birch buds are diaphoretic, diuretic and choleretic agent. For kidney and bladder diseases, dropsy, water infusion or decoction is used in a ratio of 1: 5. Kidney infusions are prepared at the rate of 2 teaspoons per cup of boiling water. Take 2-3 tablespoons 3-4 times a day. Broth is prepared from 30 g of buds per glass of water and taken as an infusion.

Birch leaves are madevitamin drink: young leaves are crushed and poured with hot boiled water, insist 4 hours.

Birch juice. Birch sap is not only tasty but also useful, it has a good tonic effect, its ability to dissolve stones is revealed, therefore the juice is used in complex therapy for urolithiasis.

The usefulness of birch sap is determined by its chemical composition, the presence of many valuable substances, in particular glucose and fructose, which are well absorbed by the body, nicotinic, glutamic, aminoacetic acids.

Birch broom in the bath promotes healing of wounds, abrasions, cleanses the skin from rashes and blackheads. Well helps after physical exertion, relieves pain and tension in the muscles. And its main advantage is that it helps to improve ventilation in the lungs.

It is believed thatBirch smell cures melancholy and helps from the evil eye, and birch sap collected on special days of March and April cleanses the blood.

Beresta - one of the best means for making a fire in any weather.

Birch tree. Interesting Facts

Sometimes on Birch can be seengrowths - cap - on the cut, they have a peculiar complex and beautiful pattern. Processed cap has long been used to make exquisite handicrafts: boxes, snuffboxes, decorative furniture parts.

For Birch specific and characteristictypes of mushrooms - destroyers of dead wood (saprotrophic), which play a crucial role in the process of self-cleaning of forests from deadwood and windbreaks.

Why is birch white? The cavities of the cells of the birch bark are filled with white resinous substance - betulin, which gives the birch white color.

In beekeeping, birch is important as a pollen plant. After all, bees collect not only nectar, but also pollen - the main source squirrel and vitamins.

People living near the birch grove are much less likely to suffer from colds, as the volatile volatile produce produced by the tree inhibits the growth and development of bacteria.

Tree description

Birch is one of the most common plants in our country. There are about a hundred species of birch trees growing not only in Russia, but also in the forests of North America and all of Europe. All varieties of birch trees can be divided into two large groups:

  • trees (their height varies between 30-50 meters, and the trunk width can reach 1.5 meters),
  • shrubs (large, small and creeping species).

This plant is very important for any forest ecosystem. It becomes home to insects such as caterpillars, papenitsa, deer beetles, and May beetles. In addition, this tree becomes a refuge for some varieties of mushrooms: boletus, white fungus, loading, waves, mulberries, chaga or syrёzhek. This tree is also used in economic activities.

  • Wood. Birch flesh has a high degree of strength, which allows it to be used for the production of plywood products.
  • Caps are growths that can form on birch roots, trunks or branches. In the section, the cap has a very interesting pattern, which after processing allows it to be used for the manufacture of various handicrafts.
  • Tar is a special substance extracted from this tree by dry distillation. It is used in medicine, as a rule, as part of various ointments or tar soap.
  • Paint. At a certain processing, a yellow dye can be obtained from the plant leaves.
  • Pyltsenos. Birch is also important for honey fishing, as it is an important pollen.
  • Birch bark is the top layer of bark, which is distinguished by its strength and durability (due to the resins in the composition). Used as a combustible substance or material for various handicrafts.
  • Birch sap, which is extracted in the spring, is very useful. It is used both in raw form and as a component of various decoctions and syrups. In addition, birch sap can be used for feeding beekeepers.
  • The medicine . Broths and infusions from different parts of birch are used in medicine as diuretics, bactericidal or antipyretic drugs. Next, we will try to find out what kind of birch species exist.

Popular species

As mentioned earlier, there are a large number of species of birch trees. Today we will talk about some of the most popular ones.

The most common variety of birch in Russia is hanging. It looks like a tree, up to 3 meters in height with smooth white bark. In young trees, it is noticeable that the upper layer of the bark is easily stratified. The “birch retirees” can see deep gray furrows penetrating the entire upper layer of the bark. The barrel of this variety is quite flexible, straight with hanging branches, wedge-shaped leaves and earrings.

The average lifespan of this tree can range from 100 to 120 years. The tree becomes “grown up” by the age of 8, then the color of the bark also changes: it turns white from brown. It is also worth noting that the hanging birch becomes in old age, the young representatives of the species have the usual straight branches.

This plant is distributed throughout the country, but most often it can be found in the central regions and in Western Siberia. Due to its unpretentiousness, it is able to grow in various climatic regions: it is found both in the tundra and in the steppe. Растет береза достаточно быстро, занимая любой свободный участок земли, вытесняя остальные древесные породы.

This plant is widely used in human activities. So, resinous birch trees are almost collected in early spring, immediately after that young leaves are collected. Birch bark is usually collected from the middle part of a growing tree or fallen tree. In early spring, birch sap is also mined, which, due to its composition (water, special chemical elements and organic compounds), has a lot of useful properties. It is known that from one hectare of hanging birch you can get up to 10 tons of juice. All year round and collect chaga (medicinal fungus, which chose as their residence just the trunks of this type of trees).

The collected material is widely used in medicine. From the kidneys prepare broths, which are applicable, as urine or choleretic agent. For the same tools are good and infusions of young foliage. But the bark is needed to create a variety of ointments for fungal, parasitic and infectious diseases, such as scabies, lice or deprive). Hanging birch wood itself is used after dry distillation, which results in carbol (charcoal). It is commonly used in the treatment of poisoning. In addition, dense and heavy wood is used for the preparation of fuel coal or plywood.

Small-leaved

A relatively small tree (up to 15 meters), can often grow as a gnarled shrub. Distributed in the desert valleys, rivers and marshes of Western Siberia, Altai or Mongolia. The bark is yellowish gray or even pink. The leaves are quite small.

Low tree, different 15-meter white trunk and a wide crown, which is formed by branches directed strictly upwards. The leaves are shiny, small (up to 6 centimeters). Immediately after the formation of foliage gummy, very fragrant. The plant tolerates darkening and swampy soil.

Far East

Perhaps the most enduring plant in this group. It is a slender straight tree with a 30-meter trunk and a spreading crown. Very shade tolerant. Young plants, for example, cannot develop at all if they are not in the shade. Prefers foothills. Far Eastern birch can be found in Primorye, Khabarovsk Territory, as well as in the expanses of China and North Korea.

Differs in the presence of a shaggy wide trunk covered with light yellowish bark. The leaves are oval, large and dense. This type of birch can live to 80-100 years.

Squat

Another deciduous fluffy plant from a large family of birch. Most often it can be found in the marshy areas of Western Europe, Mongolia and in the European part of Russia. The plant is a shrub in height from 1 to 1.5 meters. The branches are straight, the leaves are quite small (up to 3.5 centimeters). The bark of birches of this species is smooth, often dark or brown. Squat birch is listed in the Red Book of several regions and republics of Russia. This plant is used in medicine as a component of certain types of drugs.

High plant (height up to 25 meters), for the growth of which requires a lot of light and moisture. Daur or Korean birch grows in the Far East, Mongolia, China, Korea and Japan. It is noted that the places of its growth can be considered very successful for agriculture.

It has an original openwork crown: in young animals - pinkish or red, in adult plants - dark gray, brown. The detached layers of birch bark do not fall off, but remain hanging on the trunk. The leaves are oval dark green. Coal is commonly produced from Daurian birch, and its wood is used to make all kinds of handicrafts.

Birch Schmidt

It is also called iron birch. The plant can reach a height of 20 meters. Differs widely nizkopasazhennoy crown, which can begin at 8 meters. The bark of the tree is usually dark, gray or brown. It grows on the territory of the rocky regions of Primorye, in China and Japan. This type of birch loves light. Under good conditions, the life of this species of birch can go up to 400 years.

Red birch, as its name implies, is distinguished by the unusual color of the bark, ranging from red to yellow and gray. This is a short tree, about 5 meters tall. It grows only on the territory of Kazakhstan and is on the verge of extinction.

Birch Erman

Tree 15-20 meters in height with a spreading crown. The bark of this species of birch trees is characterized by a dark gray, brown, and sometimes yellowish color. The leaves are quite large (up to 14 centimeters). The upper half of the leaf is usually dark green, and the lower half is light. This tree is very soilless, can grow on rocky surfaces. Distributed in the territory of Kamchatka, the coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, the Kuriles, in the eastern part of Russia and Japan. Used in the manufacture of coal or decorative handicrafts.

Types of birch trees in Russia

We reviewed a general description of the representatives of this kind. Now I would like to dwell on some varieties in more detail. Do you know how many species of birch exist in the world? Biologists have about 120 varieties of slender, white-trunked, light trees, while in Russia there are about 65 varieties with different characteristics. No wonder that birch has become a symbol of our country.

In addition to the usual blond trees with long earrings, there are, it turns out, varieties of a completely different look. The most common types of birch trees in Russia are hanging and fluffy, although there are trees with yellow, purple, cherry, gray, brown and black bark on the territory of our country. In these unique trees, only experienced botanists will be able to recognize a representative of the birch genus. So, for example, in the Far Eastern taiga birch grows with shaggy bark instead of bark. There are also trees with a dark purple outer part of the trunk. This species is called iron birch due to solid wood, the strength of which is inferior only to bokkauta (a tree growing in the tropics).

Betula pendula

As we have said, the symbol of Russia is birch. The types and varieties of the most common trees in our country will be discussed in the article. And let's start with hanging birch (warty). This tree in height can reach 30 meters with a diameter of 60-80 centimeters. It is characterized by openwork crown, with downward shoots hanging down, white or grayish-white bark with various cracks, the shape of which depends on the type of bark. In the lower part of the trunk, the formation of a coarse crust is possible. Birch trees with a rhombic-fissured form grow rapidly, respectively, with a rough crust - slowly. The main feature of this species is the presence of small growths, the so-called warts on young branches. The most valuable species of silver birch is Karelian.

Betula pubescens

Fluffy birch is a straight tree with sprawled branches, smooth bark of white or grayish color and young shoots hanging down. Kapovo birch is especially appreciated.

There is betula pubescens in almost all areas, with the exception of the extreme northern and southern areas where shrub birch species grow. Description of the growing area of ​​trees: the most common types of birch trees often grow in some forest parks, despite the fact that their ecological properties are different, dry places on a hill are preferable for hanging birch, and for fluffy they are very wet, sometimes they are found in swampy areas. These types of birch trees grow beautifully with deciduous and coniferous trees.

Mini trees

What are the types of birch trees, in addition to the above varieties in the open spaces of our country? In addition to the high white trees in the mountains of Russia dwarf birch trees grow. Some species are found in the Altai Mountains and the mountainous terrain of Central Asia. Botanists have about 12 species of stunted trees growing all over the world. So, for example, in Altai you can admire a small-leaved birch, in Pamir-Altai - Altai and Turkestan, and in Tien Shan - Sapozhnikov and Tien Shan birch.

Dwarf trees in our country are found in the Far North, mainly in the treeless landscape zone of the subarctic belt of the northern hemisphere with characteristic moss-lichen vegetation and the mountain tundra of the eastern part of Siberia. The most common stunted birches include dwarf, lean, Middendorf and Komarov's birch.

Some species are so small that they are inferior in height to boletus mushrooms. In certain areas, you can find dwarf trees, in appearance more reminiscent of shrubs: Kuzmischev birch, Gmelin, undersized, bushy, oval and Far Eastern. Grow mainly in forest-wise zones, in marshy areas in the forest.

Daurian birch

Dark-skinned tree species are widespread in the Far East, although some of them can be admired in Eastern Siberia. These include Dahurian birch. A tree with an openwork crown grows up to 25 m in height. The main difference from other species is the original bark: in young birches it is pinkish in color, in old ones it is dark gray, less often black-brown, with cracks along the fibers. Birch bark can periodically flake off and partially fall off, the rest, which hangs in scraps, creates a curly effect. Dark green leaves of Daurian (black) oval-shaped birch become yellow-brown by autumn. Flowering begins immediately after blooming leaves. The growing season is shorter than other species.

Birch groves

In the mountains of the Black Sea coast to the south of Tuapse and the Rion Basin there are small forests of Medvedev birch. Due to the good rooting of the branches, this species often grows on the slopes; new affiliated trees are formed from the rooted shoots.

Unusual view of the grove formed by Radde birch with red-pink birch bark. The only representative of sharp trees in Russia is Maksimovich birch, found only on the southernmost island of Kunashir (the Kuril ridge).

Moscow collection

In the Main Botanical Garden of the capital, only two varieties of North American dark-bark trees stand out from the entire collection. How they do not look like our white birch species! Only the presence of numerous earrings, typical of this plant, indicate that we have a sister of our birch tree. There are also trees with golden shiny bark. This is one of the North American species.

Now you know how many species of birch trees grow around the globe, and that Russia has become the richest country in birch species.

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