Iron tree, or Schmidt birch: description of the plant, features of wood


How many interesting things exist in our plant world! What unusual, amazing trees grow on Earth! And one of them is called Schmidt's birch. In 1903, the famous botanist Komarov recalled in his writings that she was very different from the representatives of this genus and had never had any close relatives.

Iron birch

On our planet there are a large number of trees, unusual in shape and features: giants, dwarfs, trees of century-old age and immense thickness. There are those who have giant and surprisingly small leaves, and there are with outlandish flowers and scary prickles.

Most of all, it is not the plant itself that surprises, but the names that people have invented. One of them is Schmidt's iron birch. About her and talk further.

Botanical description

Schmidt's iron birch reaches a height of 35 meters with a trunk diameter of about one meter.

The bark is grayish, beige in cracks, flakes and peels off. On young branches, it has a dark cherry color. Old branches are purple-brownish, sometimes with resinous glands.

The leaves are 5-8 cm long and 3-5 wide, ovate, epileptic, have up to 10 pairs of hairy veins well visible from below and with glands of veins, completely naked on top, short petioles. On the edge of the sheet with notches.

Earrings of a female species about 3 cm in length contain 200-250 wingless fruits that reach maturity at the very beginning of autumn. Propagated by seeds, and in a century of age - overgrown.

Ecological properties of Schmidt birch

The ecological properties of birch of this breed are determined quite well. It prefers to grow on sufficiently drained, often skeletal soils on the upper and middle parts of mountain slopes. In the valleys is rare, does not tolerate high humidity. Birch Schmidt can grow on the sunlit edges of the forest, in places where other plants do not grow.

This breed has a tendency to form even stems with a large slope. The last specimens can be found in dense stands, which is a confirmation of the light-loving nature of birch trees of this type. A young tree stretches to the light, acquiring an oblique position.

What is the feature of birch Schmidt

Birches are different, some are nothing like others. Occur with black or orange bark, wood due to its gravity easily sinks in water. Where did they come from? What are these completely "non-birch" birches, one of which was awarded the name of iron? What is the feature of Schmidt birch?

She is the only representative of the natural species from the category of "iron trees". This is a very unusual plant!

Why is she like that? Just iron birch is the most ancient of all the others, in a single copy survived among other unusual relatives. The period of its life - 300-400 years, differs from other birches by slow growth, especially in the first fifty years. Given the longer lifespan, this is normal.
This breed blooms for a short time in May-month. Seeds ripen in the second half of October.

What is the peculiarity of the birch Schmidt, which strongly distinguishes it from others? It perfectly resists fire, which makes it possible to have an advantage after the fires of mixed (fir, cedar) forests.

Birch Schmidt: a feature of wood

The wood is pink with a yellow tinge color. The annual rings and vessels are almost not noticeable. The main structure - thick-walled cells. The wood is heavy, durable, hard. The strength is higher than boxwood, which is considered the strongest.
For resistance to rotting above all growing birches. The main pest of iron birch is a gray-yellow tinder, but the core of the wood resists destruction very firmly.

Birch Schmidt, a feature of wood which has its weighty advantages, has not found application in farms, as there are no tools that can process it.

The oak is considered the benchmark of the fortress, although it is not the hardest tree. Why, speaking of this quality, first of all we recall the oak, and not the iron tree called "Schmidt's birch"? There is nothing surprising in this, because the birch grows only within Russia, and the oak tree around the globe.

A unique feature of the wood of these trees is that it can not be destroyed by any acids. One and a half times stronger than the cast iron itself, it will not be able to pierce a bullet.

Value, application

This amazing features of the tree has gained wide application in green construction in the form of valuable ornamental rock when planted in parks, forest parks, forest edges and glades. In tandem with oak it can be planted in a protective strip.
Features of birch Schmidt are also determined by its beauty and simplicity. The tree, giving a continuous shadow, is an ornament of a rural look in the summer and in the winter, it enjoys wide popularity. Since ancient times, people have sung the birch in songs, it has been and remains a symbol of beauty.

Technological features of Schmidt birch: able to polish well, resist processing with cutting tools. Use this tree for the manufacture of artistic products, as plywood raw materials and in engineering.

This tree is used in medicine. With the purpose of treatment are used as the buds and birch leaves.

When treating the flu, you can take two tablespoons of infusion of buds and birch leaves four times a day. For its preparation should brew 1 tablespoon of raw materials in a glass of boiling water.

The use of iron birch in chronic fatigue syndrome: take a tablespoon of buds for a glass of boiling water, heat for half an hour in an enamel bowl in a water bath, strain, squeeze and pour boiling water to the original volume.

Places of growth

The most durable iron tree has the greatest popularity in the reserve "Cedar Span" of the Primorsky Territory. The view of this birch is protected and listed in the Red Book. It is found in China and Japan.

Since ancient times, people are grateful for this tree and sincerely thank him for his delicate beauty and the gift that helps to preserve health.

Characteristic view

Birch Schmidt - weakly branching deciduous tree, whose height exceeds 20 m. Individual specimens can grow up to 30 m. The bark of the trunk has a brownish-gray or cream color. The trunk itself is covered with cracks, in some places the bark peels off and flakes off. But on the branches it is smooth, painted in dark cherry, brown or black. The resinous glands show through the bark of the branches, and they are called “lentils” by the people.

Birch Schmidt, the photo of which can be seen in the article, is covered with short-stem leaves of elliptical or ovoid shape. The leaf size is about 8 cm, along the edge it is irregularly serrated, with pubescent veins visible from below. The upper side of the sheet is bare and glossy.

Breeding method

During the flowering period, Schmidt birch is covered with straight elongated earrings. They have an elongated, slightly curved shape. The length of the birch earring is 3 cm. At the end of the summer or the beginning of autumn the fruits ripen, the size of which is approximately 2 mm. This type of birch is propagated by seeds. Fruits are seeds of an oval shape, they do not have wings that could help them fly in the wind. For these purposes, a narrow bordering edge is adapted.

The life of iron birch is more than 350 years. During this time it gives a huge amount of seeds, but only some of them become young trees. The young tree, which age no more than 120 years, can in addition breed by pneumosum.

Unusual experiments

The strength of birch wood Schmidt proved a simple way. To do this, a tree was shot from a rifle. The bullet bounced off like a ball without damaging the barrel. Another proof of strength are fallen trees. If during storms and hurricane winds Schmidt's birch fell, then its trunk could lie for several decades. Only the upper layer of the bark was damaged, and the wood itself was not rotten.

As an experiment in 1932, Sovtorgflot manufactured bearings for one of its boats into a steam engine from Schmidt birch. The exact time of the experimental parts was not established, but they served no less than their metal counterparts.

Guarded view

A tree, whose wood is so unique, could not but arouse keen interest. This led to uncontrolled cuttings, which significantly reduced the number of plants. The birch was saved from total destruction only by the fact that it is very difficult to cut it down. An ordinary ax is useless for this purpose. Restore the number of birch Schmidt difficult. Despite its long lifespan, the tree grows very slowly. Today, Schmidt birch is considered a rare species and is listed in the Red Book. Cutting it down is completely prohibited and punishable by law.

Tree description

Betula schmidtii belongs to the birch family. It received its name in honor of the great Russian botanist Fyodor Schmidt, who first discovered it in the Far East.

Even after the species was recognized by the whole world, trees began to be found also in other countries, but still they bear the name of our scientist.

The tree can grow and develop till 350 years and reach a height of 30 meters, very rare specimens have a height of 35 meters. The maximum cut trunk in diameter - 0.8 meters.

Tree trunk gray with a gleam of cream shade. The bark has a characteristic peeling and flaking. The bark of young specimens differs in color from adult trees, it has a rich cherry color. The branches of a tree also differ in color, they are painted in violet-brown tones. Sometimes on the branches in rare cases, there are resin excretions.

Tree foliage is also distinctive. The leaf has a petiole, its shape has an oval like that of a chicken egg. At length no more than 80 millimeters. At the most extreme points, the width of the sheet is 45 millimeters. The foliage of birch schmidt is very similar to the common gray alder. The top has a smooth structure, but the bottom is covered with small hairs. The scape is rather short. The edge of the foliage is different, it can be as simple as uneven, and have jagged protrusions.

Like any birch tree there are characteristic earrings. The length of each shoot does not exceed 30 millimeters, each of them consists of 250 particles. Shoots appear in the form of earrings begin closer to September. Reproduction of this species occurs in the seed way. But there are also cases of breeding pneumatic shoots.

In the cut, the barrel has a shade of pale pink. Pink color can be diluted with a shade of yellow. Annual rings when cutting this tree are not very pronounced and almost indistinguishable. The main composition of wood includes thick-walled cells. Wood has such qualities:

Iron birch, as it is called more often, copes well with diseases and pests that threaten it. Rot, as a rule, can not be. And the main pest of birch Schmidt is gray-yellow mulberry. But the core of the wood is very staunchly struggling with this pest. It is also worth adding the fact that the bark of the iron birch cannot even pierce the bullets, this extremely strong breed.

Breeding methods

Birch Schmidt breeds earrings - they appear on the tree as soon as flowering begins. Their shape is slightly curved, the length does not exceed 30 millimeters.

As soon as the end of summer comes and it is time for early autumn, on earrings small fruits are formed about 2 millimeters.

The seed itself has the shape of an oval. Birch Schmidt lives for at least three centuries, and spreads a great many seeds. But until the earth is filled with trees of this species, because the germination of birch seed is too small.

Of the thousands of seeds discarded, one or two will be able to settle down at best. Trees that have not gone beyond the age frame of 120 years, are able to multiply by pneumos.

Medical properties

Birch brooms for parks in the bath very well contribute to maintaining health. Such bath procedures stimulate the body's metabolism, tissue renewal and the body as a whole. The blood stream in the human body begins to push the air more strongly through the vessels.

Iron birch very often used in medical practice. Even in the old days they made it: birch sap, decoction of buds, tinctures on the leaves.

All these drugs of traditional medicine can help in the treatment of the following diseases:

  1. catarrhal diseases
  2. kidney ailments
  3. skin diseases.

Birch Schmidt - completely unique and extremely useful treetherefore, in medicine he found extensive use.

Industrial applications

The wood of a tree is very durable, so its processing is a rather laborious process, and it is also expensive. However, such wood will always find demand from demanding customers.

Birch Schmidt on the fortress can give odds to many metals, and also competes with such heavy-duty wood as bakuta. Birch wood applied in the following areas:

  • for the manufacture of parts of high strength, they are necessary in the assembly of weaving machines,
  • in furniture production,
  • in the field of engineering.

But because of its low buoyancy, this wood cannot be used in shipbuilding. It is a pity, because such a heavy-duty material would be perfect for designing craft.

What do we know about her?

Birch bears the name of the Russian scientist Fedor Schmidt, it was he who first drew attention to its unusual properties during an expedition to the Far East in the 19th century, and first made a description of the tree.

In addition to the Russian Primorye, birch grows in China, Korea and Japan, and is a symbol of a small South Korean town in the province of Kensan Puk-do.

In culture, it is grown in botanical gardens in Moscow, Lipetsk and St. Petersburg. You can also buy seedlings for growing in the garden or park. Russian winters endures.

Iron birch grows on rocks on stony ground, does not like wetlands and too moist areas. The birch grove and birch forests, as its white-stemmed relative, does not form, grows exclusively along with trees of other species - oaks, maples, cedar, fir, linden. And during forest fires, it remains the only surviving tree, since its wood does not burn. The tree is very light-loving, in a dense forest its trunk can be curved. Thus, birch tends to sunlight at the expense of beauty.

The “Iron Lady” of the Birch family is notable for its slow growth, it accumulates its unique properties gradually, but then it can live to 350 years, while ordinary birches live for about 150 years.

The view from Schmidt's birch is not quite birch. It is a weakly branching tree, with branches growing at an angle of 40-45 degrees to the trunk.

Agree that the three Schmidt birches in the photo are very different from the usual picture of a birch grove:

It grows up to 25-30 meters in height, the crown starts from 10-12 meters. The trunk diameter is up to 80 cm. The bark of young tree trunks is grayish brown, the branches are dark cherry or brown. With age, they become darker, as a result, old trees become black in color.

The tubercles and strokes on the trunk are lentils; in the case of iron birch, they are light, sometimes completely white, which also distinguishes it from our usual birch trees.

The leaves are oval, with peculiar teeth for birch trees and short scapes, iron birch in May, elongated and slightly curved earrings. Seeds - ovate nuts, wingless, with a narrow rim around the edges. Ripened by the end of summer, the seeds are about a month in a tree, and in late September - early October, they are spread by wind, some of them end up in favorable conditions and germinate.

Properties of wood and its application

Schmidt birch is called iron wood or iron birch for the unique properties of wood that does not burn in the fire, is not affected by acids and other aggressive chemicals.

Wood is harder than cast iron, and surpasses boxwood in strength, it sinks in water, but does not rot. A boat or a ship made of iron birch will last a very long time.

A bullet fired into a birch tree from five meters away bounces without causing damage. Undoubtedly, thanks to its unique qualities, Schmidt's birch could find the widest application in various spheres of the national economy, but in Russia it grows only in the Far East, and not everywhere, but in some of its regions. Therefore, in our country, the tree is listed in the Red Book.

The color of the wood is dirty pink, with a yellowish tinge. Since Schmidt’s birch grows very slowly, growth rings look poorly. The core is red-brown or light brown, the sapwood is light yellow or white.

The structure is homogeneous, but very crooked and twisted, so it is very difficult to split it. It differs from the wood of other birches by the presence of a kososloya, a defect in which the wood fibers are deflected from the longitudinal axis of the trunk.

The wood of iron birch is rather heavy - at a humidity of 15% 1 cubic centimeter weighs 98 grams, at a moisture content of 12% - 96 grams, in dry form - 93 grams.

The material is very durable and hard, resistant to mechanical stress, but well polished, treated with cutting tools. Используют его для производства фанеры, художественных изделий, элементов станков и технических средств в машиностроении.

Growing up

Выращивать березу Шмидта не сложно и в Средней полосе России, и в ее северных областях. It is resistant to low temperatures, can withstand temperatures down to -43 degrees, and is not demanding on the composition of the soil. True, he does not like waterlogging and moisture stagnation. It is better to plant it in a well-lit place on nutrient soil, since the seeds are small and they do not have their own nutrients.

As for the resistance to the typical problem of the Berezov family, it is a tinder, and in this respect iron birch is at a height. Unlike other types of Russian birch trees, it successfully resists this fungus, and is considered the most resistant to decay in a series of similar trees.

When growing birch from seeds, it is better to purchase them only from reliable suppliers - their shelf life is very short - from autumn to spring of next year. After that, their germination is significantly reduced. Sometimes they are sown in the fall, a week before the arrival of frosts, so that they do not have time to germinate. In some cases, they are simply scattered over the snow in winter, but the safest thing is to sow them in the spring.

Stratify and soak the seeds is not necessary. For the first year, the seedling will grow by only 5-6-7 cm, so it must be carefully protected from mechanical damage and damping weeds. At the same time, the fence should not cover the sprout from the sun, because the birch is a light-loving plant, but it will have to be closed for a long time from the prevailing winds and protected from drafts.

Iron tree

The tree in nature looks like a weakly branching tree, reaching a height of 20-25 m. The color of the bark of the trunk is brownish-gray, with cracks. The bark of the branches is smooth, painted in dark cherry (purple), dark brown or even black with white lentils. Leaves have ovate or oval shape and short scapes. During the flowering period, Schmidt birch throws out straight elongated or slightly curved earrings.. Nuts, seeds ovoid or oval, wingless, but with a narrow fringing edge.

Birch Schmidt, despite its dissimilarity, is a typical representative of the birch genus. The tree loves a lot of light, tolerates frost well, it is undemanding to the qualitative composition of the soil, drought-resistant. Everything is the same as in most birch trees.

The main area of ​​growth is the south-west of Primorye, the south of the Ussuri urban district, the north of the peninsula of Korea and the north of China.

The plant does not like loneliness - forests from this type of birch are not found in nature. Nearby always grow cedar, oak and pine. Birch Schmidt prefers rocky ridges and rocky slopes. It can be found in deciduous and mixed forests. Individual trees enliven the landscape among light forests and shrubs.

Features of the structure

Birch - the only tree in the world with snow-white bark. This color is due to the presence of such coloring matter as betulin. Hence the Latin name - betula (Betula). However, not all rock bark contains this substance. Among the many species of birch there are trees with bark of yellow, cherry, gray and even black. For example, in Schmidt birch bark is brown, purple, and in old age it is almost black. Not all botanists recognize a birch in a dark forest. In the photo it is the least reminiscent of the white beauty of the European part of the Russian Federation.

The second feature of the "iron" breed is the lifetime. Compared with such longevity among trees as baobab, sequoia and pine, which live for several thousand years, the life expectancy of a birch is 300–350 years. That's not a lot. Longer than an iron plant, only the stone or birch of Herman lives (up to 400 years).

The third feature is wood, which has such unusual properties as:

Iron tree is an indispensable material for industry, and the population has long used wood for making household tools. Birch Schmidt - forest-forming, decorative breed. A promising direction in the use of this type of material is reforestation in Primorye. In order to increase the planted area, birch is planted in open areas in loose soil. The tree survives well when transplanted with young cuttings. The main care for seedlings is thinning of the stands by cutting low-value species.

Adult fruiting trees feel good with regular loosening of the soil and removal of grass stands.

Industrial application

The use of iron birch wood is due to its high specific weight and exceptional hardness. Numerous studies have shown that Schmidt birch wood is not inferior in terms of hardness and strength to some metals, as well as to a recognized champion - bakuta - an iron tree growing in the tropics. Birch wood Schmidt used for the manufacture of parts of high strength. For example, for the production of sliders shuttle shutters looms. The wood of this tree species is used in many other cases when it is necessary to manufacture parts of increased strength.

Birch wood is not used for shipping due to its high specific gravity. It is not suitable for the construction of rafts, boats, because it sinks in water.

Birch - description and characteristics.

These trees, with the exception of some dwarf species, reach 45 meters in height, and the trunk of a birch can reach 1.5 meters in girth. Young branches of birch trees are usually painted in a reddish-brown color and covered with small "warts". The buds on the branches are alternately arranged and covered with sticky scales. Small bright green leaves with pronounced veins have the shape of an equilateral triangle with two rounded corners, along the edges they are dissected by denticles. In spring, young birch leaves are usually sticky.

The birch bark covering the trunk may be white, yellowish, with a pink or brown tint. Some species are characterized by brown and gray color of the trunk. The upper part of the bark, bark, easily exfoliate from the trunk. Old trees below are covered with rough dark bark with deep cracks.

The birch root system is branched, superficial, with numerous thin processes or deep, with roots obliquely going deep. It depends on the conditions in which the tree grows. In the first years of life, it grows slowly, after 3-4 years the growth rate increases.

Where does birch grow?

Birch is a typical "inhabitant" of the Northern Hemisphere. Its range stretches from hot subtropics to areas with very harsh climates. In central Russia and in areas with moderate climatic conditions, these trees form light forests.

To soil the tree is unpretentious. Sandy and loamy soils are suitable for it, as well as black earth or depleted land. Birch loves moisture, so it can be found along the sea and river banks, as well as in the marshland. Dwarf birch trees grow even in permafrost and on dry rocky soil.

How to grow birch?

Those who decide to plant a birch tree on the plot of land need to know that it drains the soil strongly and acts depressingly on the surrounding plants. Therefore, it is not recommended to plant it next to fruit bushes and trees. The young sapling needs periodic watering and protection from strong winds, so it would be nice to tie it to a strong peg in the first six months of life.

Useful properties of birch.

For centuries, man has used birch in his economic activities. Firewood is used to heat the dwelling, and birch twigs are indispensable in the bath. Wood is used for the manufacture of souvenirs and household items. In the old days, tar was used as a lubricant for wheels, and today it has found wide application in perfumery and medicine.

In addition, for medicinal purposes, the buds and leaves of birch are used as a diuretic and bactericidal agent. Birch sap collected in early spring is used to prevent blood diseases. Tea made from chaga (birch mushroom) helps to relieve headaches, improves appetite and restores strength.

general characteristics

Korean birch Schmidt bears this name for two reasons. Schmidt was a famous botanist who was studying various plant species.

It was he who first discovered, described, and discovered the species in question. Korean birch can be called for the reason that it can be found on the territory of the Korean Peninsula.

Today the species is considered to be protected by the Red Book.. Birch Schmidt is considered an extremely rare plant species. It can be found only in some parts of the planet and in small quantities. These include:

  • Far East.
  • Primorye.
  • China.
  • Japan.
  • Korean Peninsula.

As for the main characteristics of the birch in question, it is a low-branchy deciduous tree. The average height can reach 20 meters. Some specimens grow to 30 meters. The trunk of the wood is cracked, and in some places the bark flakes off and flakes off from the trunk. She has a brownish-gray, as well as a cream shade in this place.

The branches of the plant have a smooth bark that has a dark cherry shade. Some specimens have black or brown branches. Here there is a lot of resinous glands, which are called "lentils".

With regards to the foliage of iron birch, it is of short stem type. It has either an elliptical or ovoid shape. The maximum size of the sheet reaches 8−10 centimeters. From the bottom of it you can see the lowered veins, and from the top the surface is completely smooth and glossy.

Additional Information

Several centuries ago, the strength of iron birch was proved in a rather entertaining way. A real rifle was fired into a tree trunk, after which the cartridges bounced off the wood without damaging its surface. Thus, the experts came to the conclusion about the highest strength of the plant Schmidt.

Another proof of the high strength of wood is a natural phenomenon, when, after various storms and hurricanes, birch fell to the ground. After that, its trunk could have been lying on the ground for several decades without any problems. In this case, only the upper layers of the bark rot, and the wood itself is in perfect order.

In 1932, an additional experiment was conducted. They were engaged in specialists from the Soviet merchant fleet. In the boats for the steam engine bearings were made of wood. These parts served only a few times less than metal counterparts.

As mentioned earlier, today Schmidt's iron birch is on the verge of extinction, so it is listed in the Red Book. This was due to the increased interest in wood, which had attractive features. Therefore, the cutting of this plant occurred everywhere. Today they are trying to restore a high population of Schmidt birch, but this requires a lot of time. Cutting down iron trees is completely prohibited and it is prosecuted by law..