Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Tree-dimensional Tacoma: birch trees

Ron Swarner

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This week’s Tree-dimensional Tacoma tree are the birch trees at Blix Elementary School in Tacoma’s Eastside. Photo credit: Kate Swarner

Tree-dimensional Tacoma: birch trees

“The white and silver bark of the paper birch, the Himalayan birch, and the European white birch reflects the light and adds tremendous winter interest,” says Sarah Low, executive director of the Tacoma Tree Foundation. “That brightness is especially nice this time of year when the leaves haven’t quite reappeared but we start getting sneak peaks of the sunlight. Birches are often planted in rows or in clumps for a bigger impact. You can catch some great examples by walking through the University of Washington-Tacoma campus or by taking a look at the trees at Blix Elementary School in Tacoma’s Eastside. Once you start noticing them, you will likely see them all over the place.”

A birch is a thin-leaved deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula, in the family Betulaceae, as well as this week’s Tree-dimensional Tacoma, Peaks & Pints’ weekly Tacoma tree column. Inspired by our house beer, Kulshan Brewing Tree-dimensional IPA, Peaks & Pints branches out for a weekly look at terrific trees of Tacoma, in conjunction with our friends at Tacoma Tree Foundation.

With their beautiful, papery bark and ghostly coloration, birch trees naturally become the center of attention in a landscape. Despite the trees’ drawbacks — birches are short-lived and susceptible to death from birch borer beetles or other pests — birches remain popular thanks to their graceful shapes, small stature (compared to other popular landscape trees), white trunks, and distinctive peeling bark.

After checking out the birch trees at UW-T and Blix Elementary School at 1302 E. 38th St., enjoy a Tree-dimensional IPA (6.8%) at Peaks & Pints. Kulshan Brewing collaborated with the Tacoma craft beer lodge on their house beer. Paying homage to the outdoor enthusiasts who join Peaks daily in Tacoma’s Proctor District, Tree-dimensional IPA is the perfect beer to toast the powder, currents or trails, as well as reveal the sprains. Tree-dimensional IPA, or Tree-D, continues Peaks & Pints’ love affair with old school piney IPAs, this time brewed with Simcoe, Idaho 7, CTZ, Centennial, and whole leaf Cascade in the hop back for all the pine, a little citrus, with a creamy mouthfeel and bitter finish. The Tree-D is in cans, too!

Tacoma Tree Foundation is dedicated to educating, empowering, and supporting community members in neighborhood-based greening. In other words, the Tacoma organization strives for a greener, healthier, more connected Tacoma — which plants well with Peaks and Pints. We will host TTF fundraisers during Tree-dimensional IPA’s reign as our house beer, which pours through October 2020.

LINK: Kulshan brews Peaks and Pints Tree-dimensional IPA

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Sugar Maple

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Tulip Poplar

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Giant Sequoia

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Pin Oak

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Douglas Fir

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Incense Cedar

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Plume Sawara Cypress

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Western Red Cedar

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Ponderosa lemon hybrid

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: London planetrees

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: “Vanderwolf’s Pyramid” limber pine

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Pacific Madrone

LINK: Tree-dimensional Tacoma: Bradford callery pear