Birch bark facts for kids
Birch bark or birchbark is usually the bark of the Paper Birch tree or sometimes of similar trees such as Gray (Wire) Birch.
Birch bark is useful because it is strong and water-resistant. It is similar in some ways to cardboard. And can be easily cut, bent and sewn. Because of this it has been very valuable for building, crafting, and writing material ever since ancient times. Birch bark also contains substances that are used in medicines and chemicals.
Birch bark was valuable throughout the world where birch trees were available:
- In North America, the native people used birch bark for canoes and wigwams and more.
- In Scandinavia and Finland, it had many uses, including roofs, boxes, casks and buckets.
- In Russia, many birch bark documents have survived from the Middle Ages.
- In the Indian civilisation birch-bark, along with dried palm leaves, replaced parchment for writing.
Birch bark is can also be used as a tinder. It is very good tinder as the inner layers will stay dry even through heavy rainstorms. To make birch bark useless as tinder, it must be soaked in water for a very long time.
Images for kids
North American birchbark canoe
Birch bark Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.