The silver birch – betula pendula – can grow up to 30m in height. Its widely spread roots enables it to draw nutrients from a large area enabling it to grow where the soil’s fertility may initially be low. Its trunk often provides nesting spaces for woodpeckers as well as supporting various types of fungi.
Birch wood is often used in making ply wood. Its bark can be used to make bowls, boxes, baskets and even small boats.
In Celtic mythology, the silver birch symbolised renewal and purification.
“…the birch trees which grew on this margin of the vast Edgon wilderness had put on their new leaves, delicate as butterflies’ wings and diaphanous as amber.” Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native, Book VI, Chapter 1
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10