Karelian birch - mysterious tree of northern forests
• Karelian birch - tree mysterious northern forests
It is known that the wood is considered ideal for those trees that have a smooth, flawless, trunks. Karelian birch does not fit into the existing canons, but, nevertheless, is one of the most valuable species. It is in the flaws and hidden her true beauty - an unusual marble texture on the clue that scientists have struggled for nearly a hundred years.
In 1766, a German forester Fokel, who studied at the request of Catherine II Forest North-western part of Russia, discovered and first described the unusual trees found there, which resembles a simple birch, and "inside looked like marble." After nearly a hundred years (in 1857) Russian scientist K. Merklin these trees gave the name "Karelian birch", as first discovered them in Karelia. In addition to Russian, Karelian birch and received the Latin name - Betula pendula Roth.
In contrast to the familiar us belostvolnoy slender birch, sung by many poets and artists, the birch is unlikely that anyone would call beautiful. Birch wood is very unattractive undersized with strongly deformed tree trunk with a large number of spherical bulges and cusps thereon.
But at this unpretentious shell hidden treasure. That ugly growths and cracks on the Karelian birch trunk form instead of tree rings, which can be seen in other sections of trees, an unusual pattern of bizarre lines, curls, ticks. Moreover, this pattern is unique to each trunk.
It is very beautiful and the color of wood, which can be of different colors - from light gold to dark amber. Polished, it is poured, like mother of pearl.
In addition, the wood in the Karelian birch is also very strong - it does not rot and does not crack.
Since the end of 18th century wood of Karelian birch was the manufacture of expensive furniture, glassware, jewelry boxes, jewelry. Karelian birch became known as "the king's tree", furnished in a unique wood furnished the interiors of the royal chambers.
In 1917, Fabergé produced from birch wood to Emperor Nicholas II Easter egg. For a long time this masterpiece is considered lost, but now it can be admired in the Museum of Faberge in Baden-Baden (Germany).
Tree of Mystery
That's been going on for nearly 100 years, scientists are struggling with the mysteries of the tree. At first, even it was not clear what the Karelian birch - whether it is a separate species or just a kind of subspecies of a species of birch. This question, in the end, made it clear - most researchers agreed that the Karelian birch is an abnormal shape, subspecies, the most common in our birch - drooping (or warty).
But there is still no clear opinion on the causes leading to this unusual form of birch trunk and, accordingly, to the formation of patterned wood. Put forward many different hypotheses - the influence of soil composition, climate, viral diseases, genetic mutations, etc. So the research continues .....
At the beginning of the 20th century, the number of these valuable trees began to fall sharply due to uncontrolled deforestation, it was necessary to take urgent measures to save the Karelian pearl. And since the 30s Karelian birch began to grow in special reserves.