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Paper birches are unmistakable as far as trees go. With their white bark peeling in large sheets there really is not other species it could be mistaken for. The paper birch is wide spread across the boreal forest and they are easily found down in the Whitemud Ravine. With its thin bark and readily available sap the tree is a favourite among the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. Among First Nations the Paper Birch is used to make objects such as canoes, snowshoes, tipis, baskets and paper. It also has medicina al properties and the birch sap can be collected and boiled down to make syrup, wine, and beer. So it turns out that this tree is quite versatile. The peeling bark is excellent as tinder and I always collects bark sheets when hiking and if I know I will be making a fire later on. You just want to be careful not to harvest too much bark from a single tree as removing large chunks of bark could damage or even kill the tree.
May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.