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Thread: Birch

  1. #1
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Birch

    Hi,

    I'd appreciate any comments on the below essay's grammar and related things. I wanted to make it short, but the topic did not let me do it: though the essay is rather general and lacks detail, it's 500 word long. In future, I'll try to keep my essays shorter.

    Thanks & best wishes,
    nyggus



    Birch

    One of my favorite tree species is birch. Before telling you why, I'll give you some basic information about this species.

    First, birch is actually not a species, but a genus. As a genus, it includes a number of species, such as silver birch or dwarf birch. A deciduous tree, birch loses its leaves seasonally. Typically, birch trees don't live too long. They're pioneer species, that is, tough species that colonize places where other species still cannot grow because of too difficult conditions (for instance, places destroyed by fire). Birch trees grow fast. When a young oak will still be small, a birch of the same age can already be quite tall. Various birch species can differ quite a lot in their morphology.

    I've heard quite a few times that birch is a weed: it can grow fast even in difficult environments but is not too valuable. It's not my opinion, though. For me, such kind of talk is way too anthropocentric: a plant is OK when people consider it beautiful or can use it, for instance as food or fuel or anything like that. Birch is a source of firewood, though not of high quality: when dry, it fires quickly. It's not considered too beautiful, either you won't find too many birch trees in parks. Clearly, a weed. Is that right?

    Oh, I forgot there's one thing people value in birch: birch sap. Traditionally, people collected it in spring and drunk it fresh. I know some people still do it. These days, you can buy bottled birch sap. Many people consider this beverage very healthy. I like the taste, but for many people birch sap has no taste, which is why you can buy it mixed with lemon juice or briar syrup or something like that.

    You might wonder why I like birch. I like its pioneering character. Laugh at me if you want, but for me, there's something metaphysical in pioneering species (which is something I can't really explain). Also, I like birch's appearance (here, I mean mainly silver birch, which is quite abundant in the forest next to my house): white bark, green leaves, tall growth habit. When I was younger, I heard that birch trees are energetic: if you feel like "borrowing" their energy, just touch the bark with your forehead and stay in that position for some time. I must admit I tried that a couple of times, but I didn't feel any inflow of energy from the tree. That doesn't mean I liked birch less, not at all. I still like birch trees, and I kind of live among them. Even right now, when I'm writing these words, I can see a couple of birches through the window.

    I'm not saying I prefer birch over other tree species. Each tree species actually, each tree has its own character. Above, I wrote what I like in birch. Some other time, I might feel like writing what I like in other tree species.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Birch

    I don't have time to correct the whole essay but one thing leapt out at me - don't use "Oh, I forgot ..." in an essay. It's much too casual.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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