• The Birch
    The Birch
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj birch consisting of or made of wood of the birch tree
    • v birch whip with a birch twig
    • n birch a switch consisting of a twig or a bundle of twigs from a birch tree; used to hit people as punishment "my father never spared the birch"
    • n birch any betulaceous tree or shrub of the genus Betula having a thin peeling bark
    • n birch hard close-grained wood of any of various birch trees; used especially in furniture and interior finishes and plywood
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Sweet Birch. Black Birch. Cherry Birch Sweet Birch. Black Birch. Cherry Birch
Yellow Birch. Gray Birch Yellow Birch. Gray Birch
Paper Birch. Canoe Birch. White Birch Paper Birch. Canoe Birch. White Birch

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The "Spruce Goose" flew on November 2, 1947, for one mile, at a maximum altitude of 70 feet. Built by Howard Hughes, it is the largest aircraft ever built, the 140-ton eight-engine seaplane, made of birch, has a wingspan of 320 feet. It was built as a prototype troop transport. Rejected by the Pentagon, Hughes put the plane into storage, never to be flown again.
    • Birch A birch twig or birch twigs, used for flogging. "The threatening twigs of birch ."
    • Birch A birch-bark canoe.
    • Birch A tree of several species, constituting the genus Betula; as, the white or common birch (Betula alba) (also called silver birch and lady birch); the dwarf birch (Betula glandulosa); the paper or canoe birch (Betula papyracea); the yellow birch (Betula lutea); the black or cherry birch (Betula lenta).
    • a Birch Of or pertaining to the birch; birchen.
    • Birch The wood or timber of the birch.
    • v. t Birch To whip with a birch rod or twig; to flog.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n birch A tree or shrub belonging to the genus Betula (which see). The birches have smooth, laminated outer bark and close-grained wood, which in some species is hard and tough, taking a fine polish, and is used in the manufacture of furniture and for many other purposes. The white, gray, or poplar birch, Betula alba, the principal European species, is a small tree, but is put to many uses, especially in the old world. The bark is used for tanning and thatching, and yields an oil which is said to be used to give Russia leather its peculiar odor; spruce-oil is also used for this purpose. The leaves, as well as the sap and oil, are used in the treatment of various chronic diseases, and the wood is used for fuel and many other purposes. Several varieties of this species, as the weeping, cut-leafed, and purple birches, are much cultivated for ornament. The canoe- or paper-birch of North America, B. papyrifera, is a large tree with a very tough, durable bark, which is largely used by the Indians in the manufacture of canoes and tents. The timber is valuable. The yellow or gray birch, B. lutea, is one of the most important deciduous trees of the northern Atlantic forests, growing to a very large size; its wood is heavy, very strong, aud hard. The black, sweet, cherry-, or mahogany-birch, B. lenta, has a very spicy, aromatic bark, yielding a volatile oil identical with oil of winter-green, and its heavy, dark-colored wood is largely used for making furniture and in ship-building. Other prominent species are the red or river-birch, B. nigra, of the Southern States, and the black birch, B. occidentalis, of the Rocky Mountains aud westward. Several shrubby species are widely distributed in mountainous and arctic regions, reaching a higher latitude than any other deciduous tree, as the alpine birch (B. nana), the low or dwarf birch (B. pumila), aud the scrub birch (B. glandulosa).
    • n birch A birch rod, or a number of birch-twigs bound together, sometimes used for punishing children.
    • n birch A birch-bark canoe.
    • birch To beat or punish with a birch rod; flog.
    • n birch In New Zealand, a name of any one of several species of Nothofagus.
    • n birch Same as white birch .
    • n birch Same as cañon- birch.
    • n birch The Atlantic coast birch, B. populifolia.
    • n birch The paper-or canoe-birch, B. papyrifera.
    • n birch Nothofagus Solandri, a beautiful evergreen tree 100 feet high: so called from the color of the bark.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Birch bėrch a hardy forest-tree, with smooth, white bark and very durable wood: a rod for punishment, consisting of a birch twig or twigs
    • adjs Birch made of birch
    • ***


  • Robert Frost
    “One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”
  • Gore Vidal
    “I'm all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. birche, birk, AS. birce, beorc,; akin to Icel. björk, Sw. björk, Dan. birk, D. berk, OHG. piricha, MHG. birche, birke, G. birke, Russ. bereza, Pol. brzoza, Serv. breza, Skr. bhūrja,. √254. Cf. 1st Birk
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. berc, bierce; Ice. björk, Sans. bhūrja.


In literature:

We were ordered to Birch Cooley, sixteen miles away.
"Old Rail Fence Corners" by Various
The birch had never been used in the recollection of any of the boys.
"Wilton School" by Fred E. Weatherly
The birch, the birch, he had it!
"Gilian The Dreamer" by Neil Munro
And we ought to have the time of our lives while we're up at Birch Bark Lodge.
"Phil Bradley's Mountain Boys" by Silas K. Boone
On his way he happened to pass through a forest, and in the forest there stood an old withered Birch-tree.
"Russian Fairy Tales" by W. R. S. Ralston
Girls could whittle as well as boys, and often exchanged the birch brooms they made for a bit of ribbon or lace.
"Home Life in Colonial Days" by Alice Morse Earle
Slender boughs of birch trees were brought in, and I wondered why.
"The Land of the Long Night" by Paul du Chaillu
Half the beauty of the birches in the spring.
"Ohio Arbor Day 1913: Arbor and Bird Day Manual" by Various
But whither go our Boy Hunters in their birch-bark canoe?
"The Young Voyageurs" by Mayne Reid
My birch canoe was a good one.
"On the Indian Trail" by Egerton Ryerson Young

In poetry:

The sap of the birch-tree
Is in his pelt,
The maple, the red-bud
Are his nails and parings.
"Ode To Walt Whitman" by Stephen Vincent Benet
At Loschwitz above the city
The air is sunny and chill;
The birch-trees and the pine-trees
Grow thick upon the hill.
"The Birch-Tree at Loschwitz" by Amy Levy
The fox laughed low by the birch-tree's root
In the heather.
The hare was running with daring foot
O'er the heather.
"The Hare And The Fox" by Bjornstjerne Bjornson
That night a stalwart garrison
Sat shaking in their shoes,
To hear the dip of Indian oars,
The glide of birch canoes.
"The Exiles. 1660" by John Greenleaf Whittier
The meaning of that common dread
No tongue has fitly told;
The secret of the dark surmise
The brook and birches hold.
"Birchbrook Mill" by John Greenleaf Whittier
I lean against the birch-tree,
My arms around it twine;
It pulses, and leaps, and quivers,
Like a human heart to mine.
"The Birch-Tree at Loschwitz" by Amy Levy

In news:

Birch & Barley Crew's Uncensored Night on the Town.
Beautiful days lead to good competition at Birch Ridge.
Birch Bayh led way toward equality for women in sports.
John Birch earns degree, graduates with 4.0 GPA.
Birch passes on mother's lesson in tackling cancer.
Dave's 7:07AM MDT guest will be Jeff Hymas from the John Birch Society.
Move Over, Maple Syrup, Birch Syrup May Challenge Your Sweet Rule.
Alaska Birch Syrup Makes Worldwide Splash.
Today's show talked on global warming and had guests Birch Smith and US Representative Dan Benishek.
As birch pollen counts peak, look for Fairbanks 'greenup'.
The Birch Run Mall was packed today with maybe 1,000 to 3,000 to 5,000 mostly women shopping the Outlet Stores.
Sen Birch Bayh represented Indiana from 1962 to 1980.
Birch Bayh is a partner in the Washington office of Venable LLP.
Sharp Mary Birch Hospital names CEO.
Birch Bayh reflects on right-to-work.

In science:

Based on a linear inversion procedure known as optimally localized averaging, e.g, (Jackiewicz, Gizon & Birch 2008), we are planning to invert SDO/HMI travel times to infer vector flows and two thermodynamics quantities in the solar interior, in three dimensions.
German Science Center for the Solar Dynamics Observatory
This follows from similar results on the number of colored Birch partitions.
On the number of colored Birch and Tverberg partitions
We extend our approach from the uncolored case in : We study colored Birch partitions in Theorem 2 which yields the first non-trivial lower bounds in Theorem 3.
On the number of colored Birch and Tverberg partitions
This observation leads to the concept of colored Birch partitions.
On the number of colored Birch and Tverberg partitions
Let cBPk (X ) be the number of all unordered colored Birch partitions of X to p.
On the number of colored Birch and Tverberg partitions