A great variety of containers can be made in from birch wood and bark. Little things like bowls and dishes are easily made. Bigger stuff like canoes are a lot more work to build; but are light weight and rot resistant. The bark can be peeled from rotten logs, or cut from live branches and trunks during the spring peeling season.
Aside from bark for wet weather tinder, my favorite use of birch is black birch tea. This birch is also called the sweet birch (betula lenta). The twigs and young bark have the rich, mouthwatering aroma of sweet wintergreen. Shave off a few strips of this bark from a young branch, or break up some twigs into small sticks. About a tablespoon of material will be plenty for an 8 ounce cup of tea (though you’ll probably want to drink more than just one cup). If you make this tea in early spring when the sap is running, the tea will be naturally sweetened by the sugar in the sap. Let the bark shavings or twigs sit in the water for a few hours for the full sweetening effect. This was the original source for birch beer, too.
And speaking of sweet sap, any birch can be tapped just like a maple tree, to boil into delicious syrup in February or March.
And if that’s not enough, you can:
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