The birch tree is a tree of the Berezov family, which also bears the name of a weeping and warty. It is widely distributed in the Caucasus, in the European part of Russia, in the Altai and in Western Siberia, up to the tundra. In the east it grows up to Lake Baikal. In Europe, this tree is also common, with the exception of the Iberian Peninsula. It can also be found in the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia.
Birch dangling can reach 30 meters in height and have a diameter of up to 80 centimeters. Young trees have a brown bark, but after 10 years, it usually begins to grow white. Young branches are usually warty (hence the name of one species), after a year of growth they become reddish-brown. In the middle zone of Russia, the birch hangs up to 20 meters in height. Its leaves are rhombo-or triangular-ovate, they are sticky and very pleasant smell.
The birch tree hangs before leaves blossom. Both male and female flowers are earrings, only men's are made up of three or two pairs, and female ones are made up of one. Birch fructifies with small seeds. Flowering occurs in April - May, and fruits ripen in August - September. Usually birch begins to bear fruit for the tenth year with growth in nature in a free state, and in the plantation - only after 20-25 years. Every year the birch hangs fruit, scattering its nuts in autumn and winter.
These trees are very photophilous and with their white trunks seem to spread light. Those who have ever visited a birch grove, will never forget the feeling of lightness and light prevailing among trees. Unfortunately, birches do not live long, the limit of life expectancy is 120 years. Only single copies live more than 130 years, but this is mostly an exception.
The birch tree is a symbol of Russia. He devoted hundreds of songs, the origin of which goes back to the distant past. It is unlikely that there will be a tree on the ground that would be 100% used. Birch wood is made of furniture, paper, methyl alcohol, turpentine, acetic acid, tar is obtained from the bark. Branches go to golikov (brooms), branches with leaves harvested for baths (foreigners do not understand how you can torture your body with a birch broom, but we know something about it).
Birch buds are a wonderful remedy for treating a number of diseases, and the juice of this tree is a storehouse of natural vitamins, a tasty and healthy drink that the plant generously shares with people. For a long time our ancestors made from birch all kinds of toys and handicrafts, in which children played with pleasure. The birch tree gives off a lot of heat during combustion, so it was used before for heating. Today there are other sources of heat supply, but even now in the villages they often heat houses with the help of firewood, harvested from a white-plumed beauty.
Since ancient times, folk medicine has adopted birch buds and leaves. They are harvested before they blossom (in February and March), dried in a well-ventilated dry room. Of the kidneys make a decoction, which has a diuretic and choleretic effect and is used for swelling. Kidneys should be used with caution, as they contain tarry substances that irritate the walls of the stomach. To treat gastric diseases birch buds insist on vodka. From the leaves prepare a decoction, which is recommended to rinse hair. The curls become soft and silky from this, even without super-expensive expensive rinsers.
Let's take care of this tree and take care of it as it cares about us, because it is unlikely that there will be another such wonderful plant in the vastness of boundless Russia.