The buds and twigs are used as a flavouring in stews. Inner bark - raw or cooked. Best in the spring. Inner bark can be dried, ground into a meal and used as a thickener in soups, or be added to flour when making bread, biscuits etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply[K]. Sap - raw or cooked. The sap can be used as a refreshing drink or beer, it can also be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off much of the water[K]. Harvested in spring, the flow is best on a sunny day following a frost. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:-\"To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr'd together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm'd. When it is sufficiently boil'd, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work...and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.\".
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Betula occidentalis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
A fast-growing but short-lived tree. A very ornamental plant, it hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. It hybridizes in the wild with B. papyrifera. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process.Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Betula occidentalis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Betula occidentalis.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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