The name Birch derives from the Gallic "Betw" and has always been considered a sacred tree linked to light and to the reawakening of nature since it is the first tree to sprout after winter.
Its presence in Sicily can be traced back to the last ice age, but it gradually disappeared and remained only in the Etna area. Over time it differentiated itself from the other species by developing a conducting apparatus suitable for surviving extreme weather conditions, both hot and cold, and becoming an endemic tree species, Betula aetnensis.
Used in various fields since the Paleolithic, birch pitch was used by Neanderthals as an adhesive and later its distinctive white bark was used as paper. In North America, it was settlers and explorers who invented 'birch beer' as a substitute for expensive liqueurs, using its sap in addition to fermented honey.