Image of Wyoming, 4/9

Though the crabapple trees in my front yard have yet to bud, my little birch tree already sports tiny leaves that match the bright “spring green” crayon color I remember from my childhood. Did you know that birch trees contain betulinic acid (it’s what makes the bark white), which is a potent and promising anticancer substance that has demonstrated potential as an effective skin cancer treatment? According to my favorite plant identification book, Plants of the Rocky Mountains, American Indians used birch trees to make everything from canoes and snowshoes to cups and sewing needles.

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