The genus Betula , commonly known as Birch is made up of 73 taxa. Birch species are normally small to medium-size trees or shrubs, mostly of temperate climates and boreal zones of the northern hemisphere. Birch trees prefer to occupy habitats in cool, moist areas, including peatlands (moors, peatbogs), river banks, and lakeshores. Birch can be found in larger numbers in cool damp woods and forests were the ground does not dry out for most of the year.
Birch tree leaves may be toothed or pointed. Birch branches and bark have many uses. Birch wood is often used for fire wood because it burns well without popping, even when frozen. Birch bark can be easily used to start fires and the bark can also be peeled into thin sheets to make a paper like kindling that can be ignited even with sparks.
Birch wood of species that grow to a large size such as Betula alleghaniensis (Yellow Birch) have many uses. The wood is used for Birch wood flooring, Birch cabinetry, Birch wood paneling, and some furniture. Plywood is also made with Birch wood because of the properties of the Birch wood lend themselves for plywood production.
Written and researched by: Andy Brown . You can connect with me on Google plus , and on Facebook Find more of my Tree Photos on Flickr
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