A birch is a thin-leaved deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula (/ˈbɛtjʊlə/), in the family Betulaceae, which also includes alders, hazels, and hornbeams. It is closely related to the beech-oak family Fagaceae. The genus Betula contains 30 to 60 known taxa of which 11 are on the IUCN 2011 Red List of Threatened Species. They are a typically rather short-lived pioneer species widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in northern areas of temperate climates and in boreal climates.
|Range of Betula|
Birch species are generally small to medium-sized trees or shrubs, mostly of northern temperate and boreal climates. The simple leaves are alternate, singly or doubly serrate, feather-veined, petiolate and stipulate. They often appear in pairs, but these pairs are really borne on spur-like, two-leaved, lateral branchlets. The fruit is a small samara, although the wings may be obscure in some species. They differ from the alders (Alnus, other genus in the family) in that the female catkins are not woody and disintegrate at maturity, falling apart to release the seeds, unlike the woody, cone-like female alder catkins.
The bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long, horizontal lenticels, and often separates into thin, papery plates, especially upon the paper birch. Distinctive colors give the common names gray, white, black, silver and yellow birch to different species.
The buds form early and are full grown by midsummer, all are lateral, no terminal bud is formed; the branch is prolonged by the upper lateral bud. The wood of all the species is close-grained with a satiny texture and capable of taking a fine polish; its fuel value is fair.
The flowers are monoecious, opening with or before the leaves and borne once fully grown these leaves are usually 3–6 millimetres (1⁄8–1⁄4 in) long on three-flowered clusters in the axils of the scales of drooping or erect catkins or aments. Staminate aments are pendulous, clustered or solitary in the axils of the last leaves of the branch of the year or near the ends of the short lateral branchlets of the year. They form in early autumn and remain rigid during the winter. The scales of the staminate aments when mature are broadly ovate, rounded, yellow or orange color below the middle, dark chestnut brown at apex. Each scale bears two bractlets and three sterile flowers, each flower consisting of a sessile, membranaceous, usually two-lobed, calyx. Each calyx bears four short filaments with one-celled anthers or strictly, two filaments divided into two branches, each bearing a half-anther. Anther cells open longitudinally. The pistillate aments are erect or pendulous, solitary; terminal on the two-leaved lateral spur-like branchlets of the year. The pistillate scales are oblong-ovate, three-lobed, pale yellow-green often tinged with red, becoming brown at maturity. These scales bear two or three fertile flowers, each flower consisting of a naked ovary. The ovary is compressed, two-celled, and crowned with two slender styles; the ovule is solitary. Each scale bears a single small, winged nut that is oval, with two persistent stigmas at the apex.
Betula species are organised into five subgenera.
Note: many American texts have B. pendula and B. pubescens confused, though they are distinct species with different chromosome numbers.
The common name birch comes from Old English birce, bierce, from Proto-Germanic *berk-jōn (cf. German Birke, West Frisian bjirk), an adjectival formation from *berkōn (cf. Dutch berk, Low German Bark, Danish birk, Norwegian bjørk), itself from the Proto-Indo-European root *bʰerHǵ- ~ bʰrHǵ-, which also gave Lithuanian béržas, Latvian Bērzs, Russian beréza, Ukrainian beréza, Albanian bredh ‘fir’, Ossetian bærz(æ), Sanskrit bhurja, Polish brzoza, Latin fraxinus ‘ash (tree)’. This root is presumably derived from *bʰreh₁ǵ- ‘to shine’, in reference to the birch's white bark. The Proto-Germanic rune berkanan is named after the birch.
Birches often form even-aged stands on light, well-drained, particularly acidic soils. They are regarded as pioneer species, rapidly colonizing open ground especially in secondary successional sequences following a disturbance or fire. Birches are early tree species to become established in primary successions, and can become a threat to heathland if the seedlings and saplings are not suppressed by grazing or periodic burning. Birches are generally lowland species, but some species, such as Betula nana, have a montane distribution. In the British Isles, there is some difference between the environments of Betula pendula and Betula pubescens, and some hybridization, though both are "opportunists in steady-state woodland systems". Mycorrhizal fungi, including sheathing (ecto)mycorrhizas, are found in some cases to be beneficial to tree growth.
A large number of lepidopteran insects feed on birch foliage.
Because of the hardness of birch, it is easier to shape it with power tools; it is quite difficult to work it with hand tools.
White-barked birches in particular are cultivated as ornamental trees, largely for their appearance in winter. The Himalayan birch, Betula utilis, especially the variety or subspecies jacquemontii, is among the most widely planted for this purpose. It has been cultivated since the 1870s, and many cultivars are available, including 'Doorenbos', 'Grayswood Ghost' and 'Silver Shadow'; 'Knightshayes' has a slightly weeping habit. Other species with ornamental white bark include Betula ermanii, Betula papyrifera, Betula pendula and Betula raddeana.
Wood pulp made from birch gives relatively long and slender fibres for a hardwood. The thin walls cause the fibre to collapse upon drying, giving a paper with low bulk and low opacity. The birch fibres are, however, easily fibrillated and give about 75% of the tensile strength of softwood. The low opacity makes it suitable for making glassine.
In India, the birch (Sanskrit: भुर्ज, bhurja) holds great historical significance in the culture of North India, where the thin bark coming off in winter was extensively used as writing paper. Birch paper (Sanskrit: भुर्ज पत्र, bhurja patra) is exceptionally durable and was the material used for many ancient Indian texts. The Roman period Vindolanda tablets also use birch as a material on which to write and birch bark was used widely in ancient Russia as note paper (beresta) and for decorative purposes and even making footwear.
Baltic birch is among the most sought-after wood in the manufacture of speaker cabinets. Birch has a natural resonance that peaks in the high and low frequencies, which are also the hardest for speakers to reproduce. This resonance compensates for the roll-off of low and high frequencies in the speakers, and evens the tone. Birch is known for having "natural EQ".
Drums are often made from birch. Prior to the 1970s, it was one of the most popular drum woods. Because of the need for greater volume and midrange clarity, drums were made almost entirely from maple until recently, when advances in live sound reinforcement and drum microphones have allowed the use of birch in high-volume situations. Birch drums have a natural boost in the high and low frequencies, which allows the drums to sound fuller.
Birch wood is sometimes used as a tonewood for semiacoustic and acoustic guitar bodies, and occasionally for solid-body guitar bodies. It is also a common material used in mallets for keyboard percussion.
Birches have spiritual importance in several religions, both modern and historical. In Celtic cultures, the birch symbolises growth, renewal, stability, initiation and adaptability because it is highly adaptive and able to sustain harsh conditions with casual indifference. Proof of this adaptability is seen in its easy and eager ability to repopulate areas damaged by forest fires or clearings. Birches are also associated with the Tír na nÓg, the land of the dead and the Sidhe, in Gaelic folklore, and as such frequently appear in Scottish, Irish, and English folksongs and ballads in association with death, or fairies, or returning from the grave. The leaves of the silver birch tree are used in the festival of St George, held in Novosej and other villages in Albania.
The birch is New Hampshire's state tree and the national tree of Finland and Russia. The birch is a very important element in Russian culture and represents the grace, strength, tenderness and natural beauty of Russian women as well as the closeness to nature of the Russians. It's associated with marriage and love. There are numerous folkloric Russian songs in which the birch tree occurs. The Ornäs birch is the national tree of Sweden. The Czech word for the month of March, Březen, is derived from the Czech word bříza meaning birch, as birch trees flower in March under local conditions. The silver birch tree is of special importance to the Swedish city of Umeå. In 1888, the Umeå city fire spread all over the city and nearly burnt it down to the ground, but some birches, supposedly, halted the spread of the fire. To protect the city against future fires, wide avenues were created, and these were lined with silver birch trees all over the city. Umeå later adopted the unofficial name of "City of the Birches (Björkarnas stad)". Also, the ice hockey team of Umeå is called Björklöven, translated to English "The Birch Leaves".
"Swinging" birch trees was a common game for American children in the nineteenth century. American poet Lucy Larcom's "Swinging on a Birch Tree" celebrates the game. The poem inspired Robert Frost, who pays homage to the act of climbing birch trees in his more famous poem, "Birches". Frost once told "it was almost sacrilegious climbing a birch tree till it bent, till it gave and swooped to the ground, but that's what boys did in those days".
Another method cited was that of splints made of birch bark soaked in water until quite soft. They were then carefully fitted to the limb and tied with bark thongs. On drying, they became stiff and firm. There is no record of the use of extension, but, nevertheless, very few crippled and deformed Indians were to be seen.
Betula papyrifera (paper birch, also known as white birch and canoe birch) is a short-lived species of birch native to northern North America. Paper birch is named for the tree's thin white bark, which often peels in paper like layers from the trunk. Paper birch is often one of the first species to colonize a burned area within the northern latitudes, and is an important species for moose browsing. The wood is often used for pulpwood and firewood.Betula pendula
Betula pendula, commonly known as silver birch, warty birch, European white birch, or East Asian white birch, is a species of tree in the family Betulaceae, native to Europe and parts of Asia, though in southern Europe, it is only found at higher altitudes. Its range extends into Siberia, China, and southwest Asia in the mountains of northern Turkey, the Caucasus, and northern Iran. It has been introduced into North America, where it is known as the European white birch, and is considered invasive in some states in the United States and parts of Canada. The tree can also be found in more temperate regions of Australia.
The silver birch is a medium-sized deciduous tree that owes its common name to the white peeling bark on the trunk. The twigs are slender and often pendulous and the leaves are roughly triangular with doubly serrate margins and turn yellow in autumn before they fall. The flowers are catkins and the light, winged seeds get widely scattered by the wind. The silver birch is a hardy tree, a pioneer species, and one of the first trees to appear on bare or fire-swept land. Many species of birds and animals are found in birch woodland, the tree supports a wide range of insects and the light shade it casts allows shrubby and other plants to grow beneath its canopy. It is planted decoratively in parks and gardens and is used for forest products such as joinery timber, firewood, tanning, racecourse jumps, and brooms. Various parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine and the bark contains triterpenes, which have been shown to have medicinal properties.Birch Bayh
Birch Evans Bayh Jr. (; January 22, 1928 – March 14, 2019) was an American politician who served as U.S. Senator from Indiana from 1963 to 1981. He was first elected to office in 1954, when he won election to the Indiana House of Representatives; in 1958, he was elected Speaker, the youngest person to hold that office in the state's history. In 1962, he ran for the U.S. Senate, narrowly defeating incumbent Republican Homer E. Capehart. Shortly after entering the Senate, he became Chairman of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, and in that role authored two constitutional amendments: the twenty-fifth—which establishes procedures for an orderly transition of power in the case of the death, disability, or resignation of the President of the United States—and the twenty-sixth, which lowered the voting age to 18 throughout the United States. He is the only non-Founding Father to have authored two constitutional amendments. Bayh also led unsuccessful efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and eliminate the Electoral College.
Bayh authored Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which bans gender discrimination in higher education institutions that receive federal funding. He also authored the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, and co-authored the Bayh–Dole Act, which deals with intellectual property that arises from federal-government-funded research. He led the Senate opposition to Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell, two of Richard Nixon's unsuccessful Supreme Court nominees. Bayh intended to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972, but declined to run after his wife was diagnosed with cancer. He sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976, but dropped out of the campaign after disappointing finishes in the first set of primaries and caucuses.
Bayh won re-election in 1968 and 1974, but lost his 1980 bid for a fourth term to Dan Quayle. After leaving the Senate, he remained active in the political and legal world. His son, Evan Bayh, served as the 46th Governor of Indiana and held his father's former U.S. Senate seat from 1999 to 2011.Birch River (Maine)
The Birch River is a 5.1-mile-long (8.2 km) river in Aroostook County, Maine, in the United States. From the confluence of its North Branch and South Branch (47°01′57″N 68°40′44″W) in the southwest corner of the town of Eagle Lake, the river runs southeast to St. Froid Lake in Winterville Plantation. The lake is drained by the Fish River, a tributary of the Saint John River.Birch Wathen Lenox School
The Birch Wathen Lenox School is a New York City college preparatory K-12 school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. BWL comprises approximately 500 students from all around New York City. The Birch Wathen Lenox School is one of 322 independent schools located in the city.Birch bark
Birch bark or birchbark is the bark of several Eurasian and North American birch trees of the genus Betula.
The strong and water-resistant cardboard-like bark can be easily cut, bent, and sewn, which has made it a valuable building, crafting, and writing material, since pre-historic times. Even today, birch bark remains a popular type of wood for various handicrafts and arts.
Birch bark also contains substances of medicinal and chemical interest. Some of those products (such as betulin) also have fungicidal properties that help preserve bark artifacts, as well as food preserved in bark containers.Birch tar
Birch tar or birch pitch is a substance (liquid when heated) derived from the dry distillation of the bark of the birch tree.Evan Bayh
Birch Evans Bayh III (; born December 26, 1955) is an American lawyer, lobbyist, and politician of the Democratic Party who served as the junior United States Senator from Indiana from 1999 to 2011 and the 46th Governor of Indiana from 1989 to 1997.
Bayh was first elected to public office as the Secretary of State of Indiana in 1986. He held the position for two years before being elected Governor. He left his office after completing two terms and briefly took a job lecturing at Indiana University Bloomington. He was elected to Congress as a Senator in 1998 and reelected in 2004.
On February 15, 2010, Bayh unexpectedly announced he would not seek reelection to the Senate in 2010. After leaving the Senate, he was replaced by his predecessor, Dan Coats, and became a partner with the law and lobbying firm McGuireWoods in the firm's Washington, D.C. office, and also became a senior adviser with Apollo Global Management. He was a part-time contributor for Fox News from March 2011 to July 2016. In June 2011 he became a messaging adviser for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. On October 27, 2011, it was announced that Berry Plastics Corp. had appointed Bayh to its board of directors.Following the withdrawal of 2016 Democratic primary winner Baron Hill, Bayh announced that he would be running to take back his old Senate seat from retiring Republican incumbent Dan Coats. He was defeated by Todd Young in the general election by a 10-point margin (52% to 42%).Bayh is the grandson of basketball coach Birch Evans Bayh, Sr..Event Cinemas
Greater Union Organisation Pty Ltd, trading as Event Cinemas, Greater Union, GU Filmhouse and Birch Carroll & Coyle (BCC Cinemas), is the largest movie exhibitor in Australia and New Zealand, with over 140 cinema complexes currently operating worldwide.
The Greater Union Organisation is a subsidiary of the ASX-listed Event Hospitality and Entertainment, a corporation that owns and operates brands in the entertainment, hospitality and leisure sectors, mainly within Australasia.Francis Birch (geophysicist)
Francis Birch (August 22, 1903 – January 30, 1992) was an American geophysicist. He is considered one of the founders of solid Earth geophysics. He is also known for his part in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
During World War II, Birch participated in the Manhattan Project, working on the design and development of the gun-type nuclear weapon known as Little Boy. He oversaw its manufacture, and went to Tinian to supervise its assembly and loading into Enola Gay, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress tasked with dropping the bomb.
A graduate of Harvard University, Birch began working on geophysics as a research assistant. He subsequently spent his entire career at Harvard working in the field, becoming an Associate Professor of Geology in 1943, a professor in 1946, and Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology in 1949, and professor emeritus in 1974.
Birch published over 100 papers. He developed what is now known as the Birch-Murnaghan equation of state in 1947. In 1952 he demonstrated that Earth's mantle is chiefly composed of silicate minerals, with an inner and outer core of molten iron. In two 1961 papers on compressional wave velocities, he established what is now called Birch's law.Joey Mercury
Adam Birch (born July 18, 1979), better known by the ring names Joey Mercury and Joey Matthews, is an American professional wrestler currently signed to Ring Of Honor (ROH) as a producer, trainer and a member of the creative team.
Birch was trained by fellow wrestler Jimmy Cicero and made his wrestling debut in October 1996, using the name Joey Matthews as he wrestled in ECW Extreme Championship Wrestling. The following year, he began competing for Mid-Eastern Wrestling Federation (MEWF), where he began competing in tag team competition and captured the MEWF Tag Team Championship, alongside Christian York. Throughout the late-1990s, Birch competed in various independent promotions, where he and York continued to work as a team. It was also during that time that he won various championships in singles and tag team competition.
In 2004, Birch signed with WWE and was assigned to their developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in Louisville, Kentucky under the name Joey Mercury. While situated at OVW, he was placed in tag team competition, alongside Johnny Nitro, in which they won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship on one occasion. It was also during this time that he and Nitro, alongside their manager Melina, were known as the stable MNM. The group were called up to the SmackDown! roster and on their debut in April 2005, Mercury and Nitro went on to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. After their third and final reign ended in May 2006, Nitro and Melina turned on Mercury, thus ending their faction. However, in November 2006, the team reunited for a brief period, before Mercury was let go from his contract in March 2007.
Following his stint with WWE, Birch continued his wrestling career, appearing at several independent promotions, including competing at Ring of Honor events. In March 2008, he returned to OVW, where he won the OVW Television Championship on one occasion. In October 2008, Birch announced his retirement from professional wrestling, following an injury, but later returned to wrestling in 2010, working for WWE as a producer and making a brief in-ring return as part of CM Punk's Straight Edge Society. He returned to TV once again in 2014 alongside Jamie Noble, (known as J&J Security) as an on screen security guard for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins as part of The Authority faction.John Birch (missionary)
John Morrison Birch (May 28, 1918 – August 25, 1945) was a United States American Baptist minister and missionary, and United States Army Air Forces captain who was a U.S. military intelligence officer in China during World War II. Birch was killed in a confrontation with Chinese Communist soldiers a few days after the war ended. He was posthumously awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal.
The John Birch Society, an American anti-communist organization, was named in his honor by Robert H. W. Welch Jr. in 1958. Welch considered Birch to be a martyr and the first casualty of the Cold War. Birch's parents joined the Society as honorary Life Members.John Birch Society
The John Birch Society (JBS) is an advocacy group supporting anti-communism and limited government. It has been described as a radical right and far-right organization.Businessman and founder Robert W. Welch Jr. (1899–1985) developed an organizational infrastructure in 1958 of chapters nationwide. After an early rise in membership and influence, efforts by those such as conservative William F. Buckley Jr. and National Review led the JBS to be identified as a fringe element of the conservative movement, mostly in fear of the radicalization of the American right. More recently Jeet Heer has argued in The New Republic that while the organization's influence peaked in the 1970s, "Bircherism" and its legacy of conspiracy theories has become the dominant strain in the conservative movement. Politico has asserted that the JBS began making a resurgence in the mid-2010s, and a large number of political analysts from across the spectrum have argued that it shaped the modern conservative movement and especially the Trump administration. Writing in The Huffington Post, Andrew Reinbach called the JBS "the intellectual seed bank of the right."Originally based in Belmont, Massachusetts, it is now headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, with local chapters throughout the United States. The organization owns American Opinion Publishing, which publishes the magazine The New American.Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a nonprofit organization in the United States and Canada that seeks to stop drunk driving, support those affected by drunk driving, prevent underage drinking, and strive for stricter impaired driving policy, whether that impairment is caused by alcohol or any other drug. The Irving, Texas–based organization was founded on September 5, 1980, in California by Candace Lightner after her 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver. There is at least one MADD office in every state of the United States and at least one in each province of Canada. These offices offer victim services and many resources involving alcohol safety. MADD has claimed that drunk driving has been reduced by half since its founding.North Branch Birch River
The North Branch Birch River is a 9.6-mile-long (15.4 km) river in Aroostook County, Maine, in the United States. From the outlet of a small pond (47°04′31″N 68°47′52″W) in Maine Township 16, Range 8, WELS, it runs about 6 miles (10 km) east and about 3 miles (5 km) south to its confluence with the South Branch in the town of Eagle Lake to form the Birch River. It is part of the Fish River watershed, draining north to the Saint John River and ultimately southeast to the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada.Plywood
Plywood is a material manufactured from thin layers or "plies" of wood veneer that are glued together with adjacent layers having their wood grain rotated up to 90 degrees to one another. It is an engineered wood from the family of manufactured boards which includes medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and particle board (chipboard).
All plywoods bind resin and wood fibre sheets (cellulose cells are long, strong and thin) to form a composite material. This alternation of the grain is called cross-graining and has several important benefits: it reduces the tendency of wood to split when nailed in at the edges; it reduces expansion and shrinkage, providing improved dimensional stability; and it makes the strength of the panel consistent across all directions. There is usually an odd number of plies, so that the sheet is balanced—this reduces warping. Because plywood is bonded with grains running against one another and with an odd number of composite parts, it has high stiffness perpendicular to the grain direction of the surface ply.
Smaller, thinner, and lower-quality plywoods may only have their plies (layers) arranged at right angles to each other. Some better-quality plywood products will by design have five plies in steps of 45 degrees (0, 45, 90, 135, and 180 degrees), giving strength in multiple axes.
The word ply derives from the French verb plier, "to fold", from the Latin verb plico, from the ancient Greek verb πλέκω.Rural Municipality of Birch Hills No. 460
Birch Hills No. 460 is a rural municipality in north-central Saskatchewan, Canada within census division 15. It is located southeast of Prince Albert on Highway 3, and north of Saskatoon. The R.M. is within the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division No. 119.The town of Birch Hills lies within the borders of Birch Hills No. 460, and the Muskoday First Nation Indian reserve lies adjacent, but neither is technically part of the R.M.
It is mainly a farming community, but due to all the trees, pursuing such industry is difficult.
The name comes from all of the hills to the south and east and the abundance of birch trees which once covered the area, the hamlet was named Birch Hills. While native birch trees are not as prevalent in the area today as they once were, residents have caught the spirit of the name by planting birch trees on boulevards and private property.
The area is part of the aspen parkland biome.Thora Birch
Thora Birch (born March 11, 1982) is an American actress and producer. She made her film debut in Purple People Eater (1988), for which she won a Young Artist Award for "Best Young Actress Under Nine Years of Age", and rose to prominence as a child star with appearances in films such as All I Want for Christmas (1991), Patriot Games (1992), Hocus Pocus (1993), Monkey Trouble (1994), Now and Then (1995), and Alaska (1996).
Her breakthrough role came in 1999 when she played Jane Burnham in the highly acclaimed film American Beauty, for which she earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She then starred as Enid in the cult hit Ghost World (2001), earning a nomination for the Golden Globe for Best Actress. In 2003, she received an Emmy Award nomination for playing the title role in Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story. Her other films include Dungeons & Dragons (2000), The Hole (2001), Silver City (2004), Dark Corners (2006), Winter of Frozen Dreams (2009), and Petunia (2012).
After taking a break from acting, Birch resumed her career in 2016 and has since starred in several independent films.Virgin Books
Virgin Books is a United Kingdom book publisher 90% owned by the publishing group Random House, and 10% owned by Virgin Group, the company originally set up by Richard Branson as a record company.
Sources of tannins