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Dieren en planten

Plants   Conifers   Scots pine   Black pine   Maritime pine   Silver birch   Dune flora   Trees and shrubs   

Water en land

Mens en Milieu

Silver birch

size:

tree: up to 30 meters
catkins: 2 to 4 centimeters

color:

catkins: yellowish

blossoms:

April-May

pollination (in the dunes):

silvery leaf cutter bees, wind

reproduction:

seed, spread by wind

lifespan:

perennial

  • Dut: Ruwe berk
  • Lat: Betula pendula
  • Eng: Silver Birch
  • Fre: Bouleau
  • Ger: Hängebirke
Silver birch, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

Silver birch

Birch trees are common in the Netherlands. Silver birch is no exception, particularly on sandy soils. Birch woods in this country are native and provide a home to many animals. Like all birch species, the bark is generally smooth and white. Sometimes it peels off like a sheet of paper. Silver birch closely resembles downy birch. In fact, they often cross-pollinate, creating hybrids. Silver birch can withstand difficult conditions, such as lengthy dryness and somewhat acidic soil. Therefore, it is one of the species of trees used on Texel to protect pine trees from from the salty sea wind. It also serves as a fire belt in production forests. You don't want to trim this tree in the spring or summer. Due to the sap stream, the tree will literally bleed to death.

  • Usage
    Silver birch, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    Besides its use as a wind and fire break, birch is used for making many products. The furniture and wood industries use the relatively hard wood for such products as parquet floors. Its fine-grained pale color makes lovely wooden furniture. Its syrup is tapped for making juices and wine. Leaves can be used for making dyes and cosmetics. The bark can even be used to make a temporary cast for a broken arm! Silver birch also has medicinal qualities. Birch bark contains betulin, which is effective against various tumors. The list is endless!

    One negative aspect of birch is its pollen. People sensitive to hay fever often suffer when it blossoms.

  • Info

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