I started making this blog a few days ago and therefore I asked a few people to tell me their opinion and what they would like to see in my blog. One of the ideas came from my sister who told me that while flowers are very beautiful she would also like to see some trees. So my first tree post I dedicate to her although the tree I chose is untypical for Greece. I had the opportunity to hike through a forest of silver birches in the virgin forest of Fraktos in Rodopi mountain range where the following pictures comes from.
Betula pendula or commonly known as silver birch or birch (σημύδα η κρεμοκλαδής ή σημύδα) belongs to the Betulaceae family. It likes cold climates so in Greece it can be found in high altitudes in northern Greece. It is a deciduous tree (looses its leaves in autumn) with a thin white bark (that is why its called silver) with black patches usually at the lower parts. Its flowers are catkins and they appear before the leaves.
It is traditionally used to make broomsticks in parts of the UK. The sap (the juice of the tree) has been thought to be beneficial for kidney stones and as it has a high sugar content it can be brewed.
It is the national tree of Finland. In folklore it is the tree of Venus and it symbolises love and fertility. Also it was thought to protect from evil spirits and the evil eye.