What is the use of birch sap and how to collect it correctly

What is the use of birch sap and how to collect it correctly


Birch sap begins to be collected during the period of the first spring warming.

The drink is attributed a number of useful properties and a positive effect on the human body.

At the same time, it is important to know how and when to extract birch sap and whether it harms the trees.

Arborist Volodymyr Vetrogradsky helped “UP. Life” figure this out.

How and when is birch sap collected?


In winter, birch trees store nutrients, which later concentrate in their juice. The best time for harvesting is a month before the leaves appear on the trees.

Usually, they start extracting juice from the second week of March for two to five weeks.

A birch with a trunk diameter of at least 25 centimeters is suitable for this. It is also not advisable to collect sap from the same tree two years in a row.

Recommended for mining do hole about a meter from the ground and drill it to a depth of three centimeters with an upward slope. If the tree is ready for collection and a translucent liquid flows from the trunk, you can collect the sap and place a suitable container under the tree. If not, the hole must be plugged.

It is also necessary to close the drilled place after extraction, otherwise the sap will continue to flow and the tree may not survive.

Under the right conditions, you can collect up to five liters per day from birch. The amount of sap depends on the tree species, location and weather. It can also be influenced by the quality of the soil.

How not to damage the tree by taking sap


Collecting birch sap exhausts trees, says arborist Volodymyr Vetrogradskyi. Birch trees with three or more holes in their trunks can be the most affected.

Such trees often begin to grow more slowly than birches of the same age and are more likely to be affected by stem pests and bacterial infections.

The risk of disease in trees also increases if the collection holes are made with a dirty tool.

Holes that are mined or drilled in wood quite often do not heal completely. This causes colonization of open areas of the bark with trunk rot. Also bacterial dropsy, which later forms wounds that do not heal with a new crust for years. This disease is quite easily transmitted by a dirty, non-disinfected instrument“, the arborist explains.

In addition, due to improper harvesting, birches may begin to dry and, as a result, die prematurely. The normal age of a tree – 100-150 years can be reduced to 40-60 years and below.

The expert adds that damage to trees can be avoided if you collect birch sap responsibly:

  • use trees that have reached 25-30 years of age;
  • make no more than one or two holes in the bank;
  • drill a hole with a disinfected tool;
  • disinfect the hole before and after collection and plug it;
  • collect no more than 4-6 liters of juice from one birch tree.

In addition, you can safely collect sap from the lower tiers of birch branches. To do this, you need to cut young branches with a thickness of three to eight millimeters and place bottles under them. Such wounds on the tree heal on their own.

How useful is birch sap


Research discovered birch sap contains different amounts of minerals – phosphorus, potassium and copper. Also benefits of birch sap may depend on the content of folic acid, vitamin C, B vitamins, which help strengthen immunity.

In addition, birch water contains amino acids and a large number of polyphenol antioxidants. With their help, the body fights oxidative stress – a low level of antioxidants in the body. The juice is also rich in manganese, which is important for bone development.

On the composition of nutrients and properties of birch sap geography, soil type, and even the specific species and age of the tree are affected. But in its pure form, it usually has a small amount of sugar, therefore calorie content of birch sap is also low – 4.6 kcal per 100 grams.

Birch sap is sometimes added to lotions and other cosmetics because of its moisturizing and antioxidant properties. This may also be partly due to the content of vitamin C. It stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that helps the skin stay elastic.

Birch sap can also be used to make syrup, beer, wine and honey.

How to drink birch sap

Birch juice at room temperature is stored fresh only for two or three days. After that, he starts to roam.

In the refrigerator store birch sap three to five days is possible. To extend the usage time, birch sap can also be boiled and preserve.

The drink is considered safe for the body if consumed in moderate quantities. Contraindication before use birch sap can get people from violations liver functions.

The juice is rich in manganese, so if you consume more than three portions a day (one portion is 300 ml), you can get poisoned. Modern permissible upper limit of manganese is 9-11 mg per day for adults. One serving of birch water contains 3 mg of manganese.

Beside this, harm of birch sap can be felt by people who have allergy to birch pollen.


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