She is known as

the lady of the woods,

a pioneer tree

able to grow

where most other trees

will not.

First tree to colonize

Europe and North America

After the last ice age,

she is even able to grow

in the Arctic tundra,

in the highlands of Scotland,

Ireland, and Wales.

She grows quickly and becomes

a nurse tree


slower growing trees.

Recognizable by

her delicate twigs and branches,

her leaves are light

and easily carried by the wind.

A single Birch

produces millions of tiny seeds

dangling, like ornaments, in the breeze,

and carried far and wide.

Her life span is similar to humans,

going through youth, maturity and senility,

much as we do.

She seldom lives longer than 80 years.

But fertile and prolific, graceful and nurturing,

our ancestors recognized the Birch

as the embodiment of the female principle.


Sandra Lee Smith

Originally posted February, 2009

Updated September 7, 2018





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