The silver birch (Betula Pendula) is a very attractive tree that has white peeling bark. This tree has been a true inspiration to many people like artists, poets and writers. This is a broad-leaf tree and it is a deciduous. It can grow to an average height of 25 meters. The leaves of the silver birch have a triangular shape. Sometimes the leaves are heart-shaped. The leaves are pale green, but they turn a beautiful golden-yellow in autumn. The leaf buds are big, long and sharp and they rest on very slender shoots. Leaf bursts for the silver birch occur between March and April.
This tree produces a type of flower called the catkin. These flowers bloom during the months of April and May. The silver birch produces brown fruit in the months of September and October. The seeds from this tree are dispersed by the wind. The bark is white with a paper texture and has black cracks. The twigs range in color from purple to brown and they have white spots on the shoots. They are a real eye catcher in the sun. This tree is very similar to the downy birch and it is often confused with it. There is a way to distinguish the difference because, on the downy birch, the stems are hairy.
The silver birch is native to the British Isles, and this includes Britain and Ireland. It thrives in sandy or acidic soils. This tree has been used by humans for many years to build homes, furniture, carts, ploughs, gates and fences. In the United Kingdom it was a tradition that the wood of the tree was used for making broomsticks. The sap that is produced by the silver birch has medicinal properties and was used to treat kidney stones. The sap was also used as a sugar substitute, and it was used for brewing wine and beer. Silver birch wine is still marketed throughout Scotland today.
The silver birch has a very long history and was favored in folklore and believed to ward off evil spirits. This tree stands as a symbol of love and fertility. In folklore the birch twigs were used as a punishment to drive away evil spirits. It dates back to medieval times and is believed to be the tree of Venus. The twigs of the silver birch were also used as a symbol of authority. In Britain and Ireland today, this tree is still highly favored for its beauty.