There are few trees that say "north" as clearly as the white birch. It's such a beautiful tree with its snow-white bark. It often grows with dark green hemlocks for lovely contrast, or among maples where it shines against their fiery autumn colors.
But did you know that white birch aren't always white? If you have a white birch tree in your yard, I'm sure you already know this.
In winter it's especially easy to see this. Young white birch trees, and the young branches don't make any pretense of being white.
They are a dark, glossy purple-black. The white bark doesn't begin to show up until the branches are about an inch in diameter.
Birch twigs, or the bark from dead logs (never pull bark off a live tree) is a wonderful firestarter. There is so much natural oil in it that you can light it when it's damp... almost when it's dripping wet.
Anyway, when I saw this row of birch the other day, I thought it was good to illustrate the white birch.
| See White Trees- Part II |
See The Blindness of Familiarity
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