Birch Tree Symbolism

Landscape & Garden Art Print by Patrick St. Germain

Birch trees come in a variety of colors and types, but the distinctive paper-like bark of birch trees is what makes them easy to identify. Decorating your home with birch tree art prints will create an environment with natural serenity. These trees have been a popular subject for many artists because of their innate beauty and symbolism that is rooted in many different cultures.

Celtic Traditions

After the last ice age, birch trees were one of the first types of plant life to repopulate the frozen ground. For this reason, the birch tree came to represent rebirth and renewal. It was also believed that the birch tree warded off evil spirits. Baby cradles and rattles were made from birch for protection. The Gauls would burn birch branches during marriage ceremonies for good luck.


The birch tree is a symbol for pure love, protection and renewal in China.


Birch Creek Art Print by Diane Romanello

On May 1, it was customary for a young German man to place a decorated birch outside the home of the young woman he liked. The tree expressed his love interest. The tree was also used to make maypoles, which were used in festivals on May Day.


The national tree of Russia is the birch tree. The birch tree played an important role during Green Week, or Semik, which was celebrated in June. The branches were used to decorate peasants’ homes and a single birch tree was selected to be decorated.

Birch Trees II Art Print by Cheryl Martin

The birch tree is also important in shamanism, which was founded in Siberia. According to folklore, the birch tree connected heaven and earth. Nine notches were carved in a birch tree to represent the nine steps to heaven.

United States

The birch tree is New Hampshire’s state tree. Native Americans used the birch tree for building canoes, as the center pole in tee pees and the bark also had many uses. In Native American culture, the birch tree was symbolic of a new beginning.

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