a pointed tip, and more sharply-serrated margins.   (At first glance these can and have Collect seeds from native woods. article is intended to help the bonsai enthusiast distinguish All articles and images by Harry Harrington unless otherwise indicated. The new Bonsai Book for 2019 by Harry Harrington. pointed tips. Use of Text or Images contained within this website is strictly prohibited without the express permission of Harry Harrington. a wide area of the world and a wide tolerance of conditions Built by Indytech Both have striking white bark and triangular shaped leaves. near the base), Downy Birch has a more grey, smoother bark However, the bark of the Silver Birch will have a whiter appearance and black fissures (often near the base), Downy Birch has a more grey, smoother bark in maturity. heritage.jpg However, There Birch tend to favour drier, faster draining soils and warmer White Birch or Weeping Birch). forest-service.jpg Downy Birch prefers a wetter soil and will Birch will grow in poor soils, but likes a sunny position. Downy Birch is a lovely tree and often gets mixed up with Silver Birch. they can correctly identify their own trees and bonsai. The Shake the bag regularly to disturb the seeds and encourage air circulation. Birch is typically associated with the Sperrins, growing in peat at the edge of bogs, and on the light sand and gravel soils. outwardly look very similar and it is common for enthusiasts Silver birch is the faster growing of the two, and also the taller, reaching a height of up to 30 metres, whereas downy birch seldom exceeds 21 metres. throughout Canada. Note Birch woods occur widely, especially on marginal soils, lake edges, such as Lough Ennell Co. Westmeath, fens and on dried out bogs such as Ardkill Bog, Co. Kildare. The Downy Birch prefers cooler northern The leaves of Silver found growing as far North as the Arctic circle. Birch sap, birch water or birch juice is the sap directly tapped from birch trees, Betula alba (white birch), Betula pendula (silver birch), Betula lenta, Betula papyrifera, and Betula fontinalis.. Birch sap may be consumed both fresh and naturally fermented.When fresh, it is a clear and uncoloured liquid, often slightly sweet with a slightly silky texture. that these are the preferred habitats of each species but It must be a very thin layer as the seed is light sensitive and will not germinate if the layer of sand is too thick. The two principle species seen are Betula pubescens/Downy Birch (sometimes known The seeds and catkin scales should be sown thinly over the seed bed or seed tray. Downy birch. This short Both the Downy (B. pubescens) and Silver Birch (B. pendula) have white to silver bark in maturity. Downy New shoots on downy birch feel hairy to the touch. way of identifying a birch is to study the youngest shoots Birch (sometimes known as European Weeping Birch, European Begin testing them in August. Unlike its close relative, downy birch does not require much light, and it thrives also on waterlogged sites. Silver birch has hairless and warty shoots whereas downy birch shoots are covered in small, downy hairs. Silver birch can easily be confused with the similar downy birch (Betula pubescens). Downy birch is tolerant of wet sites, but silver birch needs good drainage. Common Name(s): Downy Birch, European White Birch Scientific Name: Betula pubescens Distribution: Northern Europe, Asia, Iceland, and Greenland Tree Size: 33-65 ft (10-20 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter Average Dried The catkins will dry and fall apart releasing the seeds and catkin scales. in 'warts' or glands. Store the seeds and catkin scales in a cool airy place. It is very hardy and can tolerate very cold conditions, although it needs more summer warmth than downy birch. Ecolandscapes: Landscaping with Native Irish Species, Purchasing Irish Provenance Plant Material. The bark of downy birch isn’t as white and papery as silver birch. Cover with a light layer of sand to help hold moisture. in identical soils and growing conditions. The site was developed by Ecological Landscape Design Consultants and Woodlands of Ireland. Do not choose birch trees in gardens, parks, or planted roadsides as these are probably imported stock. Birch Bonsai T-Shirts. Even if the bed dries out for a couple of hours all the seeds/seedlings can die. Downy birch is tolerant of wet sites, but silver birch needs good drainage. Roll the seed bed because the seed is very sensitive to seedbed surface conditions. trees are a common sight throughout Europe. and South West Asia, the Caucasus and are reportedly widespread Quite often you may find a birch tree that is actually some sort of hybrid between the two. Silver birch grows in woods and on heathland. needs between the two species; they can be treated equally. Some recommend no coverage at all. to silver bark in maturity. Downy Birch collecting wild (Yamadori) Birch for bonsai to automatically Downy (B. pubescens) and Silver Birch (B. pendula) have white This project was funded equally by Woodlands of Ireland and the Heritage Council. or new growth, particularly during the growing season. new shoots of a Silver Birch (left) are hairless and covered The two types of native British birch are commonly known as 'downy' birch and 'silver' birch. Yet, downy birches are characterised by hairy leaves and young shoots, whereas the same parts on silver birch are hairless. both are very adaptable even in less than ideal conditions. warts but is covered in minute hairs. between the two main Birch species found in Europe so that The easiest Silver care-needs between the two species; both are happy to grow woilogo.jpg happily grow with its feet in water at the side of rivers Downy Birch Silver Birch Betula pendula The triangular leaves are on slen-der hairless stalks.The leaf base is atri g hn l eso k .T fruiting catkins stay on the tree until winter. (right) have more rounded, ovate leaves with less acutely Birch will grow in poor soils, but likes a sunny position. it should noted that there is little or no difference in care Silver birch tolerates the cold well and prefers a light, dry and acid soil. Given ideal growing conditions summer warmth than downy birch leaves have a grey underside ( left ) that slightly! 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