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Description for Betula lenta
The wood of sweet birch is medium heavy, medium hard and dark brown with a little red. Sapwood is light brown or yellow. The wood, which tends to warp, slowly gets darker after it is exposed to air.
Planting and care
Easily grown average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade.
Caring for Betula lenta
- River birch is perhaps the most culturally adaptable and heat tolerant of the birches. Prefers moist, acidic, fertile soils including semi-aquatic conditions, but also tolerates drier soils.
- Consider using soaker hoses and bark mulches to keep the root zones cool and moist. Adapts well to heavy clay soils of Missouri and will tolerate poor drainage.
- Avoid pruning in spring when the sap is running.
Typical uses of Betula lenta
Special features: Over time, furniture made from sweet birch looks like mahogany, and its wood is stronger than mahogany and black cherry.
Culinary use: Commercially in the past for production of oil
Medicinal use: In every form, birch makes an excellent tonic and detoxifier, mainly working on the urinary system to remove waste products, as in kidney or bladder stone, gravel, gout, and rheumatism.
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