Posts Tagged ‘charcoal and besom brooms’

Wooden Wonders part five: birch, by Kate Cashmore

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, is full of magnificent trees.

As part of our half term Wooden Wonders event taking place from 14 – 16 February, Kate Cashmore from Westonbirt’s learning team has created a trail which will help you find out about our hidden wonders.

Here, she highlights some of the Wooden Wonders that you can discover when you follow the trail.

The bark of birch trees is the amazing feature of their trunks.    

10  Betula utilis var  utilis C Jane Gifford 2012 

It varies with different species from pure white (called ‘silver’) through yellow and orange to a rich red.

In many, the bark is shed in strips that hang down dramatically.

When a silver birch tree has fallen and rotten, the bark is often left as a hollow ring.

In Russia, it is made into beautiful carved boxes. Birch wood is used for writing paper, bobbins, charcoal and besom brooms, and was traditionally used for maypoles and early aircraft. It is also good for fire-lighting.

Useful links
Find out more about the Wooden Wonders event
Buy great value Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum membership
More great activities for families