The birch in a profile - everything you need to know at a glance

The birch in a profile - everything you need to know at a glance

Get to know the birch in the profile

  • Name: Common birch
  • Scientific name: Betula Pendula
  • Alternative names: white birch, sand birch, silver birch
  • Number of different species: around 50
  • Family: Birch family (Betulaceae)
  • Appearance: deciduous deciduous tree
  • Height: 20 to 30 m
  • Age: up to around 150 years
  • Origin: native
  • Distribution area: Europe, North America, Asia
  • Preferred locations: sunny to light partial shade
  • Soil: dry to slightly moist, sandy to loamy
  • Fruits: small brown-yellow nut fruits, approx. 2 to 3 mm, winged
  • Fruit ripening: August to September
  • Flowers: male catkins approx. 10 cm long and conspicuously yellow, female flowers 2-4 cm and inconspicuous
  • Flowering period: March to May
  • Leaf: oval to slightly triangular, serrated leaf margin, arranged alternately
  • Bark: white with black longitudinal cracks

Growth habit of the birch

Birch trees adorn gardens, streets, parks and forests with a striking appearance: their long, continuous trunk ends in a loose crown. The mostly very light to bright white color of the bark is particularly characteristic. Overhanging branches and acute-angled twigs are also typical of the Betula Pendula. In addition, the growth form proves to be extremely diverse. In the flowering period, the male yellow kittens catch the eye.

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Interesting facts about the birch

The white birch is the most common type of birch in Germany. For pollen allergy sufferers, however, the picturesque tree becomes a burden between March and April. Because birch trees are pollinated exclusively by the wind, they emit a particularly high level of pollen compared to other trees. Due to this very effective method of reproduction, however, the birch is also one of the pioneer plants. Your demands on the condition of the floor are low. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that it is birch trees that symbolize a token of love when erected as a maypole.

Birch trees have female and male flowers on the same tree, so they are monoecious. They form flowers for the first time after five years, and free-standing specimens are sexually mature after about ten years.

Special properties

Birch extracts, especially from their leaves and bark, are known for their medicinal effects. The contained essential oils and valuable plant substances are used in cosmetics for the care of skin and hair. Medically, they can have anti-inflammatory and diuretic effects, which can benefit a wide variety of symptoms, for example in the case of chronic inflammatory diseases or kidney stones. Traditionally, detox cures are a popular area of ​​application for birch leaf teas.

Tips and Tricks

The birch is by far the most light-hungry forest tree in all of Europe. In addition, however, it is very easy to care for. With a rather low water requirement and a frost hardness of -36 to +40 degrees Celsius, the tree can withstand extreme conditions. But the better the light and water supply, the more luxuriant the birch grows.