Birch deciduous tree

Birch is a plant belonging to the family of broad-leaved trees, commonly so called to distinguish them from coniferous plants or conifers. The name “deciduous” in fact, emphasizes that the shape of the leaves of the plant is wide rather than needle-like, and very often the edges of the leaf itself are indented. These plants also produce inedible fruits but which enclose the seeds, protecting them from external elements (water, air, bad weather) or wild animals. The natural habitat of broad-leaved trees differs according to the type of tree belonging to the category: we find them in rainy environments, in the Mediterranean or temperate belts, in Scandinavian areas as in the case of birch. The deciduous flower can be hermaphroditic or unisexual, and therefore possess self-sufficient reproductive capacities, or vexilliferous to attract animals and initiate reproduction through pollination. The erect stem also has a network of capillaries intended for the passage of liquids for complete diffusion inside the plant and fast growth.

Grow birch in the garden

Birch generally grows in Northern Europe, where the cold climate allows for optimal development. In Italy there are no spontaneous birch woods, they are grown in the garden in the north of the country as a decorative element. The “verrucosa birch”, or white birch, is the most widespread species, especially for its scenic effect in the winter months. To grow birch in the garden, you need to get a plant and transplant it in a sunny area, generally in autumn or early spring. In their habitat, birches grow in groups, so it is always better to buy more than one specimen that is not overdeveloped, grown in pots and therefore not yet branched, and spaced them at least one meter from each other. The hole to be dug must be three times the size of the pot that contained the plant, and must be fertilized with mature manure and straw. The bottom must be wet and, once the roots are spread out, the plant can be placed leaving the collar on the surface. Two woods placed on the sides of the trunk ensure the growth of the plant in height and pruning should be done in summer when the branches are full of leaves.

Features birch

The physical characteristics that help recognize a birch treefrom any other broad-leaved tree, mainly concern the particular coloring of the trunk. The plant produces betulin, a substance contained in the bark that gives the plant its characteristic pearly white color with the distinctive dark contrasting markings. The leaf is also deciduous, of a beautiful bright green color, large and indented at its edges. In autumn it takes on a yellowish, almost orange color, in stark contrast to the white trunk of the plant. The trunk is erect and reaches heights of 25 or 30 meters in the adult specimens, remaining however always thin and longileo. Birches sprout spontaneously in open spaces usually far from the woods, preparing the ground for the growth of the plants that make up the forest, which is why they do not have a lasting life. The ramifications are also

Properties and uses of birch

Birch is a plant widely used in herbal medicine for its known diuretic and purifying properties. Creams or essential oils based on birch bark are excellent in the treatment of cellulite having a very effective draining function. Furthermore, betulinic acid, contained in the bark, has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, which is why it is also used as an adjuvant in the composition of medicines, or in herbal teas against headaches. The leaves, on the other hand, are used for their diuretic properties, and therefore also in the treatment of urinary infections, thanks to the high concentration of potassium and flavonoids. Vitamin C and betulinic acid prevent or slow down the formation of kidney stones, treat joint pain and rheumatism. L’ Birch oil is also used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, sores or eczema. The birch sap, on the other hand, is collected in the summer to produce remedies capable of counteracting hair loss or thinning, and to combat red spots on the skin.

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