Thursday, November 2, 2017

Birch Trees Bear Fruit

Birch Tree Fruit is For the Birds

Many parts of the birch tree are edible for humans. These include the bark, the leaves, the buds, and the sap. However, edible does not necessarily mean tasty. The author of "Edible Birch, Chaga" shares the results she got when making tea, birch syrup, and just eating various parts. Most writers agree the fruits make good food for the birds.

Birch Trees Bear Fruit

The book Feasting Free on Wild Edibles by Bradford Angier explains how to make birch tea and birch syrup, as well as many other survival foods you can make from plants found in the wild.

Just Birch Leaves and Fruits

Birch Trees Bear Fruit
A Closer Look at the Leaves and Fruits at the End of October, © B. Radisavljevic

Birch Designs Make Great Throw Pillows

The graceful birch trees easily lend themselves to artistic photos and designs. Their bark is unique, especially the white birches with bark that peels like paper. The tree also can have a weeping appearance, especially when fruiting. You can see that in the photo above and in the final photo in this post. The birch tree inspired the creation of these throw and lumbar pillows on Zazzle.

Birches are Very Useful Trees

Birch trees have medicinal uses. American Indians use the tea to relieve headaches. Some tribes roasted the fruiting cones over campfire coals and breathed the smoke to relieve nasal congestion. These are just a couple of the medicinal uses for birch I found in Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, my go-to book for everything herbal. One can also make a hot poultice of the leaves, bark, and fruits to apply to the skin.

The skin will absorb the methyl salicylate in the birch parts to help skin irritations and minor wounds. Such a poultice may also be used to ease arthritis pain. None of these remedies have been tested by today's researchers for effectiveness, but some modern remedies for muscle pain do contain some methyl salicylate combined with menthol.

We know the American Indians made canoes of the birch's waterproof bark. An oil extracted from the bark was used as a glue when making arrows. You, too, can make beautiful and useful objects from birch. Some suggestions are star ornaments, baskets, rings, woven mats, and shoes. The book below will show you how to make these and many other things from birch you can use.

I'm glad I have a birch tree in my yard. Maybe one day soon I'll make better use of it. I'm glad I have survival food if necessary, along with a possible way to relieve pain. I'll leave crafts to those who enjoy them. I'd rather take photos and write when I want to be creative.

Birch Trees Bear Fruit. They are also very useful trees for people.

Do you have a birch tree in your yard? Have you ever used it for anything except the joy you get from seeing it every day? 


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