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Birch

native bark widely

Birch, name for various deciduous trees and shrubs of the family Betulaceae, characterized by their smooth, white outer bark, which sometimes peels off in layers. The heart-shaped leaves have saw-tooth edges. Birch grows widely in the cooler parts of the Northern Hemisphere. The close-grained timber is used for furniture, the bark for tanning and thatching. Among the best-known species are the paper birch of North America, used by Native Americans to make canoes and tents; the silver birch, a native of Europe, widely used in the USSR for roofing material, containers, and in processing leather; and the yellow birch, which makes up some 75% of the American harvest of birchwood.

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