Journal Notes: Birch sap can be collected in a similar manner to Maple sap, except about a month later and it usually only flows for about a month. The sap also needs to be gathered about three times more often than maple sap. The Sweet Birch has a smooth bark with distinct horizontal lines. In older and mature trees, vertical cracks can appear that leaves a dark brown mark on the tree but not always. It is sometimes mistaken for a cherry tree. The leaves are alternate and ovate about 2-4 inches long and 1.5-3 inches broad with a fine serration along the margin. A wintergreen flavored tea can be made by pouring hot sap or water over sweet birch twigs cut into small pieces. Let seep for no more than two minutes, then filter the twigs out. The inner red bark can also be used if cut into small strips, dried and used with hot water or sap (never boiling, too much heat ruins the flavor) to make another tea type drink.
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