Downy birch and silver birch are among the most common deciduous trees found in Finland. The downy birch (Betula pendula) favours drier soil than the silver birch (Betula pubescens). The Pornaistenniemi nature trail runs though a birch forest.
Birch has traditionally been used in many ways in Finland. It is considered the best type of firewood due to its heat value, and also used to make furniture. In addition to this, it serves as raw material for plywood and pulp. The best sauna branch-whips are made of Finland’s national tree, the downy birch. Birches have also been harvested for their sap and leaves, which are good for brewing tea, making salads and dyeing thread. In the past, birch bark was used to make shoes, backpacks and containers.
Photo Teemu Saloriutta.