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Downy Birch (Betula pubescens)

Downy Birch (Betula pubescens)


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The native tree can reach heights of 30m but is more commonly found to be around 20m. Downy Birch will tolerate much wetter, more acid soil than Silver Birch from which it can be differentiated by its lack of a heavily fissured bark on the mature tree, and its new shoots, which are covered in a fine, soft down. Downy Birch is the dominant birch in Scotland and north-west England and like its close relation the Silver Birch; it is an important food source for hundreds of species of insect.

Suitable Soil Conditions

  • Acid Soil
  • Heavy Soil
  • Wet Soil

Suitable Site Conditions

  • Exposed Site
  • Shaded Site

Ultimate Tree Height

  • 10 - 30m

Growth Rate

  • Fast