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"I love you with a white birch, stretch my thin branch to me." These words from the old song express the tender feelings that people display to the wonderful tree. The famous Russian poet Sergei Yesenin expressed his admiration for nature, describing a white birch tree under a snow blanket. And such artists as Shishkin, Levitan and Kuindzhi captured it in their paintings.
Although the birch is found throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Alaska to cold Siberia, only in Russia it has gained such popularity. Being an invariable symbol of a mighty country, the tree has always been associated with kindness and love.
Interesting information about the beautiful birch
The tree received its name on the honor of the ancient Slavic goddess of good beginnings. Therefore, it is not surprising that our ancestors called her a tree 4 cases: for cleansing, healing, tenderness and lubrication. So with the help of a birch broom cleanliness was observed. Infusion of the kidney was taken for treatment. The wheels of the cart were smeared with tar. And the beauty of the tree, admired during the summer evenings.
The birch ray reliably illuminated the huts of poor peasants when they returned home from the field. And the ancient records on the scrolls of white wood are still preserved.
Interestingly, the famous Faberge in 1917 produced a luxurious egg from birch wood.
In addition, one of the jubilee coins of Russia minted this magnificent tree. Truly a birch is a symbol of a great country.
General characteristics of the famous tree
Despite the fact that the birch is familiar to many people, it will not be superfluous to consider it more closely. It is a deciduous tree with a smooth white bark, on the surface of which dark strokes are seen. In old trees, the basal part of the trunk is covered with a gray crust on which deep cracks appear. Its height can reach more than 30 meters. Krona - spreading. Despite this, there is always a lot of light in a birch grove, which causes considerable enthusiasm.
And how many years does the birch live? Some species are up to 400 years old. In general, the plant lives for about 200 years. In any case, longer than a person.
In a young tree, the branches are colored in brown or red, which in the course of time acquire a blue tint. On them evenly distributed are small warts, resembling miniature beads.
The leaves have a shape in the form of diamonds or triangles. Usually they are pointed at the tips and jagged. Leaf plate slightly leathery, in the spring sticky. Color - bright green.
A birch tree appears on a tree in April or May. Inflorescences are all sorts of earrings. Male variants appear in summer and are colored, first in green, and then in brown. Each earring is covered with a special waterproof substance, to protect it from frost. It is in this shell that they winter.
With the advent of spring, the male earring grows, and yellow stamens protrude outward. During the flowering period, they release a large amount of pollen.
Female earrings birches ordinary appear on the sides of branches. They are much shorter than their partners, but after pollination remain on the tree. Men's earrings fall to the ground.
In August, the birch already has fruits that mature until the middle of winter. They are a miniature nut with transparent wings. Under favorable conditions, immediately germinate.
Particularly striking is the complex birch root system, which constantly needs moisture.
It consists of 3 types of rootlets:
- the main root;
- lateral elements;
- accessory roots.
During the development of the birch, the main root dies, and growth slows slightly. After this, the lateral elements of the root system begin to actively grow in different directions. The accessory roots are practically on the surface of the soil and do not have branches.
Usually, near the birch there are few other trees. The main reason - a powerful root system draws practically all useful substances from the soil. Growing a birch on a summer residence, it is necessary to consider the given feature of a tree.
Since the roots of the birch are not very deep, with a strong wind, young seedlings can suffer.
First, the seedlings grow at a slowed pace, since the main root does not hurry to surrender its positions. Once it dies, the lateral roots begin to develop actively and the birch tree roots.
In addition, the birch is unpretentious with respect to the soil. It miraculously settles on sandy and loamy soils, chernozems and even depleted lands. Occurs near the coast of rivers and even the seas. Dwarf species grow on stony ground and in the tundra, where the permafrost is.
Due to its unpretentiousness, the birch perfectly takes root in the suburban area. You can plant it in autumn or early spring.
You should not choose for planting large, elderly trees. They rarely get accustomed to a new site. The optimum age of the seedling for spring planting is 3 years. In the winter you can plant a birch seven years of age. Seeds are planted regardless of the season.
The lifespan of the birch depends on the species and local conditions. Basically it's more than 100 years old.
The most famous types of birch
Investigating this tree, scientists came to the conclusion that in nature there are about 100 species of birch. In general, they were divided into 4 groups:
- Albae. The group includes birches with a white color of the bark.
- Costata. Trees have a ribbed trunk and leaves with a rough surface.
- Acuminatae. Birches of this group grow in warmer latitudes and are distinguished by large leaves.
- Nanae. All dwarf varieties with small leaves belong to this group.
Consider the most popular types of birch that occur on the territory of Russia.
Birch warty birch
This kind of birch grows up to 20 m in height. Has thin hanging branches and a smooth trunk with a whitish bark. In older specimens, the lower part of the trunk acquires a dark gray color of the cortex. Deep cracks also appear on it.
The branches of this birch are reddish or brown. They can see small resinous warts. Hence the name of the type of tree. In addition, for the fact that the branches stretch down, it is called a birch dangling. The crown is usually wide, but in adulthood it is slightly thinned with branches lowered downwards.
Leaves are usually in the form of a diamond or a triangle. They have a wedge-shaped base and a smooth surface. The edges of the leaves are jagged, the tip is pointed. Have a delicate aroma, especially in the spring, when the tree dissolves.
During this period, it appears naked and sticky buds. At the base they are slightly enlarged, and on the tip with a sharp tip.
Birch earrings grow on sibling branches. After pollination in their place grow fruits in the form of oblong walnut with wings. They mature at the end of summer or in September.
Wherever the warty birch grows always pure air and unearthly beauty. There is a tree in mixed forests or in pure birch plantings.
Wood is considered to be one of the best natural materials for making furniture and various crafts. Greens are used in medicine. A birch sap is a unique useful drink.
The most common species that occurs throughout Russia is the birch birch. It grows both in the European part of the country, and in the Siberian tundra.
In a natural environment the tree perfectly feels among other deciduous or coniferous relatives. Ideally, it creates birch groves, where there are no other trees. The tree is resistant to colds, suffers a fairly low temperature.
On the photo of birch birches you can see a smart spreading crown, which gives the tree a majestic appearance. It grows to a height of 30 meters. The circumference of the trunk is approximately 80 cm. The bark on it is always white without deep cracks. To the touch it is smooth. Although young seedlings have a brown or red trunk, at 10 years of age it turns white and no longer changes.
Unlike the birch tree, the branches of this species do not have small warts and do not droop. Crown of young seedlings is narrow and slender. In adults it is a spreading form.
Men's earrings are painted in brown, and appear on the branches in summer or autumn. There they safely winter, and in spring they meet with women's earrings, which grow simultaneously with young leaves.
Blossom in April or early May, after which the fruit is born in the form of oblong nuts. Each of them has 2 transparent wings, which allows you to fly far away from the tree.
The leaves of the birch bush are regular, up to 7 cm long. The shape is ovoid or rhombic with a pointed tip. In young trees they are light green. With age, darken, and in the fall - yellow.
Once a famous Russian scientist drew attention to the special properties of a sweet tree. This happened during a special expedition to the Far East. He was the first to describe this unusual tree. He was named - the Schmidt birch, on the honor of the famous scientist.
In the natural environment, except the Far East, the tree is found on the Japanese islands, in Korea and China. Most often grows on rocky soil, near the rocks. It is adjacent to various deciduous trees in mixed forests. It is interesting that during fires, it remains unscathed. Its unique wood does not burn, for which it was called an iron birch.
The tree loves a lot of light, so in the woods its trunk can be curved, due to the desire for the sun.
This unique oriental tree is grown in many botanical gardens of Moscow and other cities of Russia. Therefore, to acquire young seedlings and plant in the country, it is quite real.
Outwardly, the tree does not look too much like a birch tree. Its few branches grow at an angle of 45 degrees, relative to the trunk. A birch tree grows up to 30 m high. The bark of the young seedlings is gray or brown, the branches are brown. When the birch gets older, the branches darken, and it gets black.
Sheet plate near oval-shaped tree with serrated frame. The iron beauty blooms in May, after which ovoid nuts appear. When they are ripe, they are fluttering in different directions. Getting in the right soil, the seeds germinate, turning into beautiful trees.
Such a miniature northern beauty is found in the cold expanses of the Northern Hemisphere. It also grows in the Alpine mountains, in the tundra and moss bogs.
Birch dwarf is a forked bush that grows to 70 cm. Its branches have a fluffy or velvety surface. The color of the bark is brown or brown.
Leaves are oval in shape. Edges are serrated. The upper plate of the leaf is painted in a dark green color and a little shiny. The lower part is light, slightly fluffy. With the advent of autumn, they become bright red, which looks very chic.
The tree blooms before the leaves blossom, and it bears 2 months - May and June.
Modern biologists have brought out several species of the northern beauty, which are very well established on dacha sites. They modestly grow no more than 5 meters, and some of them even less.
One of the decorative varieties of bonsai is the birch weeping "Jung". It grows in 10 years only to 5 m in height. The diameter of the miniature crown is from 2 to 3 m. The branches are originally hung down, resembling a willow or a Japanese cherry. It is this feature of the weepy birch that attracts connoisseurs of green beauty.
To preserve this form, you need to make a decorative pruning of birch. This especially applies to branches that touch the ground. The procedure is performed at a time when the tree is "asleep". As a result, a living umbrella from the scorching sun will appear on the plot.
Birch Ermann or stone
The tree received its name in memory of the German scientist George Erman. Birch Ermana can live to 400 years of age, therefore is a long-liver.
It grows to 15 meters. The diameter of the trunk at the same time reaches 90 cm, which is considered an unusual phenomenon. The bark of a stone birch is brown or dark gray in color. As it grows, it becomes covered with cracks, forming intricate strokes on the trunk.
The translucent crown consists of upright branches, flowing along the trunk. This is clearly seen in the photo of the birch of this species.
The tree does not require special care. It grows on stony, infertile soils. Excellent tolerates a lack of moisture. It grows in the Far East of Russia, Japan, China and Korea.
Birch tree cherry
Quite often this kind of birch is called sweet or sticky. It grows to a height of 25 meters. Young trees have a crown in the form of a pyramid. Birches older have a round translucent crown, consisting of hanging branches. The trunk of the cherry birch is rough, dark brown with deep cracks. In young seedlings, it has a fragrant, spicy smell.
A tree is a long-liver. It grows well on stony soils, but does not tolerate severe winters. Birch cherry was first recorded in North America. Currently, it is very well established in the Baltics, Belarus and Russia.
Birch river or black birch
This species is the most thermophilic among birches. The height reaches - 30 meters. The width of the trunk is 100 cm. The openwork crown consists of falling branches, decorated with oval leaves. Above they are painted in a dark green color, and from below - white or grayish.
The bark is smooth or coarse. Color - gray or brown. Some specimens have a creamy-pink bark that peels off like paper. Birch river or black birch is found in the United States, and is considered a heat-loving tree.
This birch variety can be in the form of a tall tree or a bush. Trees grow from 5 to 8 m in height. Shrubs are usually undersized. On the trunk of the Karelian birch, you can see numerous hillocks and irregularities that resemble a marble pattern. A truly charming tree!
Having considered the most popular types of birch, you can see that each of them has its own charms. Tall and short, slender and weeping, "stone" and "iron" - they all give people a lot of positive emotions. Being a symbol of kindness and love, birches still inspire romantic natures to write beautiful works.
Its branches are invariably used in a Russian bath for complete purification of the body. A tar soap is considered a first-class natural hygiene remedy. In addition, the birch is an ornament of the country sites, filling it with greens and shade. And perhaps, thinking under it about the meaning of life, you want to write a poem or picture.