- Issue date: 05/06/2017
- Printing Process: Offset + Troquel
- Paper: Engomado
- Size of stamp: 40.9 x 28.8 mm
- Sheet effects: 25
- Postal value of the stamps: 1.35 €
- Print run: 70.000
Fulles d’arbres. Bedoll (Birch)
Nature is undoubtedly one of the most important values of the Principality of Andorra, and therefore it often features in the country’s stamps.
This year the tradition continues with a new series, Fulles d’Arbre (Tree Leaves), showing the leaves of the main varieties of tree native to Andorra.
The first stamp in the series depicts the leaf of the birch tree (Bedoll), and is cut to the characteristic shape of the leaf.
The birch is a deciduous hardwood tree, native to the temperate and subarctic climates of the northern hemisphere, and now found on almost every continent: in most of Europe and Asia, north America, and north Africa. In the Iberian Peninsula it appears in the north, from the eastern end of the Pyrenees to Galicia, and in the hills and mountains of the northern half of the Peninsula.
Its Catalan and Spanish names (bedoll and abedul) come from the Latin “Betula”, which in turn derives from the Celtic “Betu”.
The Betula genus contains around thirty species, the most common being the silver birch or Betula Pendula, which grows up to 25 metres tall, usually with a slender trunk. Its bark is dark and smooth for the first three or four years of its life, later changing to its well-known silvery white. The leaves are small and diamond-shaped, usually lobed, and with serrate margins.
Its white wood is both strong and lightweight, but is hardly ever used in external structures because it rots easily in damp climates. However, it is much appreciated by furniture makers, and for turned wood objects, clogs, barrel hoops, paper, etc.
Birch bark and leaves also have medicinal properties and are used in the pharmaceutical industry.
As the birch tree is found over a large area and has been used by the many peoples in its habitat, it forms part of the mythology of various cultures, described as the axis of the world, or associated with the underworld, as it was for the Celts, who regarded it as a funerary tree, along the same lines as the cypress in Christian cultures.