Common Name – Birch

Irish Namecrann beithe

Latin Namebetula

Quote by Robert Frost

I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, and climb black branches up a snow-white trunk toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, but dipped its top and set me down again. That would be good both going and coming back. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches

A Birch is a thin-leaved deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula, in the family of Betulaceae. There are about 60 different species of Birch. The usual lifespan of the Birch tree is 40-50 years. In favourable conditions, this tree can live for as long as 200 years. Birches are monoecious, meaning that each individual tree has both male and female flowers. Downy Birch is more common in Ireland, due to their ability to grow on damper soils, and have been known to grow in bogland. Downy Birch is also far more tolerant of a large range of temperatures, meaning it suits the Irish climate perfectly.

In mythology, the Birch tree is associated with love, fertility, domestic life, strength, power, femininity, renewal, and purification. As the Birch is a pioneer species this gives it a symbol of rebirth, new beginnings, and growth. It is a sacred tree within the mythology of the Celts and is thought to have very protective influences.