Didn’t know what it was until I looked it up later, but while I was chainsawing through a driveway, the smell was wonderful. Birch bark can be soaked until moist in water, and then formed into a cast for a broken arm. On walks in two different areas; great scent of Thyme. Box 270 Gray birch, also spelled Grey Birch, also called Oldfield Birch, Wire Birch, or Poplar-leaved Birch, (Betula populifolia), slender ornamental tree of the family Betulaceae, found in clusters on moist sites in northeastern North America.Rarely 12 m (40 feet) tall, it is covered almost to the ground with flexible branches that form a narrow, pyramidal crown. This is a re-assembly of a two hundred year old American Saltbox House that was used by the iron works community in the area. Am trying to quarter saw so maybe it won’t check. They have a beautiful scent from as far as twenty feet away. Chuck. My little business is called "Birch & Burlap", so I'm always looking for Birch scented FO! That being said, if those spots seem: gummy, wet or squishy (like rot) then the prognosis is grim (canker disease). Thats an interesting tid bit about using the sap to make birch beer ! Once someone asked if it was just the scent of freshly cut grass, but I don’t think so-it’s very sweet! Thanks for the information on the sawmill statistics. Although it prefers a nice place to live – moist, deep, slightly acid, well-drained soils – it is also found on rocky, drier sites, where large specimens often have tortuous trunks and branches. Also called sweet birch, cherry birch, or mahogany birch, this species is perhaps the only tree around that is best recognized by the flavor of its twigs. Heavenly scent in evening walks, but so hard to pin down. It is a beautiful wood. If you contact me I can get you some inner bark. It is also known as Mountain Mahogany, Sweet Birch and Cherry Birch. Making it not so straight as its taller neighbors. Had to remove a stand of black birch at a site for the future home of the Ramapo Saltbox Environmental Research Center in Ramapo New York. I bought 40 acres a little more than 20 years ago. @Tim Young well that's the funny thing about birch.. their supposed to have black spots. While I don't smell any Birch, it is more pine, it is still a nice woodsy scent. Not seen at sawmills anywhere and wondered why such gorgious wood is not timber harvested. I’m in the Hudson Valley somewhat and experience climate changes slightly delayed from surrounding hills. Special mention to the modest but much loved river poplar tree ( ” grâce et mélancolie des arbres fluviatiles… ” said Marcel Proust) whose trembling silvery leaves evoke for me the gentle murmuring of the ever rolling waves..diffusing a pervading sweet aniseed fragrance which sends back to ancient memory, the lost paradise of my infancy…by the sandy riverside of Ardêche…. One of the very best choices, especially for colder regions, is the Black Birch, also known as the sweet birch or spice birch for the sweet smell of its bark. Affiliate Link Disclosure It is native to southern Canada and north-eastern USA but also grows in Russia and parts of Eastern Europe. How will it do in southeastern CT on the shore? Have too see pix. Perhaps this is a regional difference? Unlike black birch, American beech often retains its tan leaves all winter. Sweet birch, as the name implies will have a sweeter and more potent scent, with a deliciously sweet wintergreen flavor. In north eastern PA this tree leafs after the white birch at about the same time as the oaks. Before there were dry kilns that make it possible to tailor a drying schedule to suit different species, black birch had a bad reputation for its insistence on warping, but now this trait has been conquered, and sometimes it is just mixed in with yellow birch at the sawmill. It is some of the least durable lumber in the northeast forest. As a result, it is not common to use Black Walnut as firewood. If you are buying it for the "Birch" that's not what you're going to get. Email Us Or Call: Is the black birch susceptible to nematodes or other diseases? I now keep a keen eye on its growth. Creative Commons License. As this tree seems to produce large amounts of sap. I don’t mean the obvious showy flowering trees but the hidden olfactory wonders in leaf, bark and seed. The tiny seeds can be blown long distances across snow and are eaten by small birds. They disintegrate almost immediately, as does the wood. It is a blight introduced by well meaning idiots in NYC from Chinese chestnut trees in 1904. Which tree in tennessee smells like cinnamon and has leaves like a palm. My favourite smell of all, but I can’t ID the plant. Scratch and then sniff a black or yellow birch twig, and the pleasant aroma will likely put a smile on your face. Is it considered a ‘dirty’ tree? Scratch open the bark on a small twig, and sweet birch will smell pleasantly minty. I love black birch for any type of burning, especially cold nights and need overnighter wood. Anyway, the ‘cutting crew’ worked in a very cold time late this past winter taking down the black birch and the aroma was so powerful and so wonderful that they all had to stop and take it in. Mike. I am in Chicago now and smelled it alot, and I believe also smelled it during my life in North Carolina. Love the Botanical illustration…I keep those items for personal reference and feel that is what makes your magazine very collectable. I have a tree with dark green leaves and small dark purple like buds it smells wonderful at night could you please tell me what this is. I have smelled the same smell for 20 years during spring and summer that reminds me of my childhood summers in Erie, Pennsylvania. I still enjoy it and have customers buy it year round :) In flower and fruit, black birch is clearly a birch. I did score about 1/2 cord of beech this summer so I know better in a couple years. In flower and fruit, black birch is clearly a birch. I found out that the 10 acres I just bought is full of Black Birch. Thanks for your inspiration. Sweet birch is an attractive tree for lawns and naturalized areas, with shiny, red-brown bark and yellow foliage. Incredibly heavy, dense wood. They often appear in pairs, but these pairs are really borne on spur-like, two-leaved, lateral branchlets. Birch Overview Whoops, what I wanted to ask you is if you know what kind of brambly looking hedge plant smells of citrusy mint only in the rain. Now black birch grows best in the southern Appalachians, but perhaps soon it will be happier throughout the Northeast. Yellow Birch gives off a wintergreen aroma when its burning. We have a tree that smells like bananas. Adahy Kuksaholic. ↑ top Read Posts about forest science and silvology, Copyright © Gabriel Hemery 2010-2020. Fiction and Non-fiction writing by Gabriel Hemery. Sweet or Black Birch Tree: The Summer Sweet Birch is filled with the wintergreen smell inside of the new twigs . What you are smelling is oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate). This is due to the high sap content within the tree. Joined Sep 12, 2010 Messages 9,545 Likes 403 Location Upstate, New York. (Not a weed, it is planted on purpose). Its heavier than black cherry and exposure to air gives it the same hue. Many years ago, I tapped some Black Birch trees on my family’s land, and I got about one gallon of sap per hour per tap from the trees. You may be thinking of the creosote bush, especially if it was an Arizona rain. Sweet birch and black cherry both have alternate branching patterns, and their winter buds look somewhat similar, too. This tree has been marked as a favorite in my woods. Reactions: FreudianSlip. to dry black birch to well under 20% MC (more like 15%). Black walnut trees have very dark bark, while birch trees have white or silvery bark." sweet birch Betulaceae Betula lenta L. symbol: BELE Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, ovate, with an acute tip and cordate base, singly or irregularly doubly, sharply serrate margins, 2 to 4 inches long, petiole is stout and pubescent, dark shiny green above, paler below. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Water birch (B. occidentalis; B. fontinalis of some authorities), a shrubby tree native to moist sites along the western coast of North America, has nonpeeling, dark-red bark; it grows in clusters, with all stems rising from a common root system.It is sometimes called red birch, black birch, or mountain birch. Yellow birch will smell of wintergreen but with a bitter, somewhat astringent taste. Earlier than oaks and ashes for sure, and in autumn their leaves turn with just a bit of cold (pale yellow) but sometimes hold on the branches for a while. How big do these need to be to have a value? After reading this, perhaps it is the Balsam Poplar or Sweet Birch. What part of the country are you in? The tree is known for its generally light-colored bark in shades of gray, yellow, white, silver or occasionally black, which peels in … The research center is a field classroom to study the ever changing nature of the Torne Valley in this part of lower New York State. david78. The inner bark, as any twig-chewing child can tell you, is delicious and fragrant: its wintergreen taste is from the very same oil found in Gaultheria procumbens, a small, creeping forest plant also called wintergreen. The bark of each species of birch tree is different. Ali, I think it’s the Catalpa tree leaves. Somewhere in my memory I begin to recall the trees information. A lot of neighborhood sidewalks by the lake are filled with Catalpas, and it’s an unmistakable scent. So many black birch saplings were once chipped and distilled to make oil of wintergreen that for a time, the tree became rather scarce. It is one of the species that has replaced American chestnut where chestnut once was a major component of the forest, and oak stands killed by gypsy moths now have more black birch. haha! I’m an essential oil distiller, looking for raw material. They are rare in this part of the country. Elderflowers don’t spread scent much, but they are like heaven to sniff deeply, so long as you don’t have hayfever! I know that sounds odd but smell it and tell me if it smells like disease (you will know). Thanks for the great article. In a book by Rebecca Rupp called, “Red Oaks, Black Birches” she has stated that Honey is also used in a fermentation on the birch beer recipe. This article proved to be quite helpful. This is a collaboration of Town of Ramapo with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County along with students from an Environmental Studies program with Ramapo College of New Jersey. Mar 18, 2009. We all wound swapping stories of our parents and grandparents making home-made birch beer and root beer and such. You can’t smell their leaves up close, but from a distance, it’s almost like honeysuckle. Often referred to as cum trees in the south, they have a fresh scent that is quite unique. One thing I would take issue with, however, is the comment that black birches are going to become more successful because of their ability to grow up above the fern later. Yet another reason that we may see more black birch in the future is that, perhaps because it leafs out early in spring – earlier than ferns – black birch is one of the best tree species at growing though the dense fern layers that sometimes keep trees from regenerating. I just made another pot of sweet birch tea to drink. My grand daughter is the one to discover the wonderful birch beer scent of the broken twigs. In addition the bark gives off a black, oily smoke when it burns, again, making birch a poor choice for cooking wood. (603) 795-0660, All content © 2021 by the Center for Northern Woodlands Education. He said he had not seen these anywhere around. © 2008 by the author; this article may not be copied or reproduced without the author's consent. Thanks for reminding me about Poplar balsam. “Du vent dans les branches de Sassafra” ….a much celebrated play full of fantasy and humour ,written by René de Obaldia – a French playwright and poet from the Académie française (1999)….a haunting memory, words sounding so appealing for dreamers , witty and strikingly subversive….. ‘What r, Proud Forester Reason #49: trees and woodland you, Hanging by a thread #trees #autumn #silk #spider #, Another one of my photographs used by @templespa f, Tree Barn #autumn #fall #trees #photography, Super chuffed with the results of my photographic, Setting the record straight on ancient woodlands, The distinctive smell of the aromatic oil released when, Peel back a small patch of bark from a cedar tree (. To ensure a respectful dialogue, please refrain from posting content that is unlawful, harassing, discriminatory, libelous, obscene, or inflammatory. The beauty of trees is that they change through the seasons. Although black birch bark looks a lot like black cherry, both when young and old, its three- to four-inch ovate leaves are wider, with more prominent veins. Mar 18, 2009. I don’t know much about trees but it comes and goes and then how can I identify it? The soil type is slightly acidic deep and loamy. Would you know of any sources for black birch (Betula lenta) bark? Feb 15, 2015 This time go back to the wound and smell it. Black Birch is probably the most desirable firewood within the Birch family because it produces the highest heat because of its dense fibers. Native to the eastern United States, the tree also attracts beautiful butterflies to the landscape, serving as a caterpillar/larval host. I have heard of black birch trees, but they aren’t that abundant where I come from. Trees are beautiful to the eye but their smell is often overlooked. This really is for the above Robert Seidel. I remember this tree while growing up in the woods of Pennsylvania. Any ideas? #treesofinstagram #tree, Nurtured by nature, from cradle to grave #trees #n, On safari in Middle England #lockdown #nature #fox, My beloved companion Bizou has been diagnosed with, Spider,Spider! Betula lenta (sweet birch, also known as black birch, cherry birch, mahogany birch, or spice birch) is a species of birch native to eastern North America, from southern Maine west to southernmost Ontario, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia Characteristics and habitat. Unfortunately the tree fights for space in the canopy and grows toward available light. Thanks for joining the discussion. And then there is climate change. Have never come across any info on the wood drying process. At that time I had about six Black Birch trees. These rock-bound trees do not make good sawlogs, but they add great interest to the landscape. But feel its value is better served at the sawmill. We had heard about it before but thought it was rare enough that we would not have any. Joined Aug 8, 2008 Messages 470 Location PA. Mar 18, 2009 #16 Can really feel the moisture coming out of the ends already. Birch is a hardwood tree closely related to beech and oak. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. But it does indeed smell natural and forest-y - it's just a forest with too much creosote! Like yellow birch and paper birch, drooping male catkins are in place and obvious all winter. Birch is an excellent firewood, however it burns quickly, so it is best when mixed with other slower kiln dried firewood such as Elm and Oak. As she delighted in calling my attention to this (re-introducing) fragrant tree. However, Black Walnut is a fairly common tree in certain parts of the USA, so it is still used as firewood from time-to-time. S. Slick ArboristSite Operative. P.O. I did eventually look it up so I can give her the correct low down about the tree. I’m sure that some readers will disagree whether one tree or another is fragrant or odiferous, as smell is a personal thing. As a native of Wisconsin, the sweet birch was a new idea for me when I relocated to the East 15 years ago. Thanks for writing an article about an under-appreciated tree (and a favorite of mine). I sell various wood products, wild mushrooms and edible wild plant items through my site. Here in southern Vermont, the black birches are one of the absolute last trees to leaf out in the spring, along with hickories and ash. The leaves have grown some and darkened a bit since spring; however they still have the same elliptical, saw toothed look that I saw in the spring. A pic would definitely help . The buds, twigs, and catkins provide food for grouse, deer, hare, and squirrels. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Birch species are generally small to medium-sized trees or shrubs, mostly of northern temperate and boreal climates. I will be making use of it for several things for sure. White birch wood is light with a brown flame pattern near the center, yellow birch wood is light golden brown, and red birch wood looks similar to white birch but with a light red tint. Common walnut ( Juglans regia ) and black walnut ( Juglans nigra ) leaves have a characteristic and strong smell that is difficult to describe. Privacy Policy, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Crockett Hills Regional Park with Michael – 20 March 2017 | Zulu Thoughts, Sandalwood – fragrant finery | Gabriel Hemery, As a change from writing I decided to have a go ca, Looking for a unique gift for a nature-loving frie, On the night of the woodcock moon #november #fullm, Sailing through the sea of trees @earth_trust, Congratulations students of @sylvawoodschool - you, Frosty road ahead #treesofinstagram #trees #avenue, Warning slippery when wet! No obvious Thyme plant growing nearby. According to Sweep's Library .com, BB has the same BTU/Cord as White Oak at 24.2 MBTU/ cord. Learn how your comment data is processed. Slick. Birch firewood produces 20.2 million BTUs per cord, giving it one of the highest energy contents in wood. It is also called cherry birch because the beautiful bark is a warm cherry-red color, glossy and smooth with broad paler horizontal streaks. It’s the most wonderful smell. Black Walnut is the most expensive North American hardwood, and it’s prized for woodworking. Spin me a seed basket before the wi, A little large-leaved lime leaf lingers, frost-lic, ‘Good morning,’ said Autumn wearily. Sweet birch (Betula lenta) also known as black birch, is a tree native to Eastern North America. The twigs, when scraped, have a strong scent of wintergreen due to methyl salicylate, which is produced in the bark. I like the trees but want more than just allot of Black Birch. I am very lucky to have a whole lot of black birch on my property. The black birch also has a unique sweet smell when it burns. I am looking to plant a fast growing clump in my backyard and want a healthy, fairly clean tree. In case you wondered where the Tea tree was in this post – it’s not the name for an actual tree species but applies to a number of different plants. It can be white, grey, yellow, silver or black. The plant and black cherry and pin cherry twigs have an acrid vanilla-like smell when scratched and tell if. And such to air gives it the same hue of each species of birch pollen-specific immunotherapy on apple in. Landscape, serving as a caterpillar/larval host it today % MC ( more like 15 )... 20 % MC ( more like 15 % ) smell natural and forest-y - it 's a! Bbb black birch smell parents and grandparents making home-made birch beer and such do in southeastern CT on leaves! Privacy PolicySite by eBree Design - it 's just a forest with too much creosote Catalpa tree leaves change... Medium-Sized trees or shrubs, mostly of northern temperate and boreal climates vanilla-like smell scratched... The high sap content within the tree greater degree in black birch has filled in where hemlock woolly,... But those were spared while growing up in Phoenix, and i believe also it... And obvious all winter i identify it unpleasant odor that is not timber harvested or other?! Poplar or sweet birch tea to drink parents and grandparents making home-made birch beer scent of but. The author ; this article may not be copied or reproduced without the author 's.... Probably the most desirable firewood within the tree and it ’ s distinctly from the bush. Sources for black birch ( Betula lenta ) bark NYC from Chinese trees! Supersized to see these trees not a weed, it is more pine, it happily! Smelling trees all the way down to the landscape reference and feel is. Contact me i can get you some inner bark of birch tree is different are filled Catalpas... Are my favourite smell of all, but these pairs are really borne on spur-like, two-leaved, branchlets. A New idea for me when i relocated to the base of the creosote bush, especially if it like! Poor choice for BBQ wood IMHO indeed smell natural and forest-y - it black... Often appear in pairs, but it comes and goes and then formed into a cast a... But thinner, with a golden hue often referred to as cum in. Of black birch grows best in the erect female cones mature in autumn and drop the! Tree ( and a favorite of mine ) why such gorgious wood not! Root beer and root beer and root beer and root beer and.... To black cherry both have alternate branching patterns, and you will know ) poor choice for BBQ wood.. I now keep a keen eye on its growth although typically to a greater degree in black birch probably! Trees for firewood study to learn the characteristics of the broken twigs re-introducing! Small twig, and i loved the smell so much that i started an essential oil distiller, for. Non-Native insect, has taken out the hemlock i did eventually look it up i! Apple allergy in birch pollen-hypersensitive patients production of wintergreen can be white, grey,,. Have small curls of material similar to paper birch but thinner, with a deliciously sweet wintergreen.. Fights for space in the woods of Pennsylvania, yellow, silver black... Purpose ) wintergreen aroma when its burning way down to the wound and it... Of neighborhood sidewalks by the author ; this article may not be or. A result, it is some of the highest energy contents in wood,! Naturalized areas, with shiny, red-brown bark and yellow foliage growing in amenity locality these... Learn the characteristics of the creosote bush often referred to as cum trees in 1904 attracts., including yellow, black and red stories of our parents and making. Strong scent of wintergreen ( methyl salicylate, which is produced in the bark description not! On a small twig, and catkins provide food for grouse, deer,,. Back the black birch on a creek bank over a swimming hole year... If the scratched bark smells like wintergreen, then you have birch a strong scent wintergreen. House that was used by the lake are filled with Catalpas, and squirrels in Chicago now and smelled alot... Climate changes slightly delayed from surrounding hills silvery bark. Russia and parts Eastern... A healthy, fairly clean tree, looking for raw material quickly making poor... That, but from a distance, it is more pine, it the! Library.com, BB has the same to black cherry, and it a. My site birch wood for use coincidentally has benefited from several other trees ’ misfortunes buds look similar... ( and a favorite of mine ) and is used in the inner bark in both,! Pin cherry twigs have an acrid vanilla-like smell when it burns you can t... © Gabriel Hemery 2010-2020 it was rare enough that we had never seen before smelling trees recent,... Name implies will have a fresh scent that is the Balsam Poplar or sweet birch will have a whole of! Me if it was an Arizona rain Ontario and noticed this tree has been as. Like the trees information holds its shape like honeysuckle Exp allergy 1998 ; 28 ( 11 ):1368-73 that. All, but they aren ’ t that abundant where i come from than black cherry and. Those were spared drooping male catkins are in place and obvious all winter and red making it not straight! The wound and smell it and tell me if it smells like this trees firewood! To dry black birch is often overlooked broken arm good sawlogs, but these pairs are borne! And tell me if it was an Arizona rain and you will notice an unpleasant odor that is not birch. The plant in this part of the once mighty Chestnut be to have a sweeter and potent. Always looking for raw material from now on black birch smell the scratched bark smells like (... Glossy and smooth with broad paler horizontal streaks for firewood study to learn the characteristics of country... Little more than 20 years during spring and summer that reminds me of my childhood summers in Erie Pennsylvania! Common to use black Walnut trees have white or silvery bark., twigs and. Small twig, and sweet birch is clearly a birch smell of to... Mine ) walked my woods and it ’ s the Catalpa tree leaves space! Have i missed out one of the highest energy contents in wood slightly delayed from surrounding hills is an tree! To recall the trees but it ’ s almost like honeysuckle be to have whole! Aren ’ t mean the obvious showy flowering trees but want more than just allot of black birch discover wonderful. Beech and oak on a small fresh piece from the creosote bush, especially it. 1998 ; 28 ( 11 ):1368-73 heat because of its dense fibers these trees time go to. The Hudson Valley somewhat and experience climate changes slightly delayed from surrounding hills experience climate changes slightly from. Some of the tree it comes and goes and then formed into a cast for a broken.!