[13], In Greenland, about seventy species of fungi have been found growing in association with B. pubescens, as parasites or saprobes on living or dead wood. It tolerates the cold well and thrives in damp soil, often peaty and acidic. The edge of the leaf is doubly toothed (unlike the downy birch which is singly toothed). tortuosa). Downy birch is more variable than silver and in Britain it is normally classified according to two subspecies (Gardiner, 1981) including a subarctic subspecies B. pubescens ssp.‘tortuosa’ (a.k.a. Unlike its close relative, downy birch does not require much light, and it thrives also on waterlogged sites. [12], The larva of the autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata) feeds on the foliage of Betula pubescens and other tree species. Betula pubescens is commonly known as downy birch, with other common names including moor birch, white birch, European white birch or hairy birch. and Tyromyces chioneus. Always green at emergence. It tolerates poor soils and harsh frosts and copes well with drought. [2], Both B. pubescens and B. pendula can be tapped in spring to obtain a sugary fluid. Downy birch, also known as white birch, is a very variable tree. It grows to an altitude of 760 m in Scotland. Flowering time: April–June. myosuroides). Many North American texts treat the two species as conspecific (and cause confusion by combining the downy birch's alternative vernacular name, white birch, with the scientific name B. pendula of the other species), but they are regarded as distinct species throughout Europe. Both silver birch and downy birch have a wide natural dis-tribution area on the Eurasian continent, ranging from the Silviculture of birch ( Betula pendula Roth and Betula pubescens Ehrh.) Betula alba), commonly known as downy birch and also as moor birch, white birch, European white birch or hairy birch, is a species of deciduous tree, native and abundant throughout northern Europe and northern Asia, growing farther north than any other broadleaf tree. It is a deciduous tree growing to 10 to 20 m (33 to 66 ft) tall (rarely to 27 m), with a slender crown and a trunk up to 70 cm (28 in) (exceptionally 1 m) in diameter, with smooth but dull grey-white bark finely marked with dark horizontal lenticels. [9] The latter has arisen from the hybridization of var. Its young twigs are hairy and smooth, not hairless and covered with resin warts like those of silver birch. Downy birch is the most commonly seen birch in Northern Ireland. Average Dried Weight: 39 lbs/ft 3 (625 kg/m 3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC):.48, .62. Narrowly conical habit. pubescens, B. p. var. Simple leaf that is roughly triangular with rounded corners and a leaf margin that is quite toothed (serrated). litwinowii (distributed in the Caucasus and Turkey) and B. p. var. They hang in groups of two to four at the tips of shoots, like lambs' tails; while female catkins are … pubescens and B. nana (dwarf birch)[8][10] and is characterised by its shrubby habit, smaller leaves, resinous glands and the smaller wings on the fruit. [3], In more northerly locations, downy birch can also be confused with the dwarf birch (Betula nana), both species being morphologically variable. It has serrate leaves, not doubly serrate like silver birch. and downy birch are considered rare ( Jonsell, 2000 ) due to a biochemical incompatibility mechanism between these two species ( Hagman, 1971 ). The Downy birch is a small, spindly tree with thin branches and papery bark. All three species can be distinguished cytologically, silver birch and dwarf birch being diploid (with two sets of chromosomes), whereas downy birch is tetraploid (with four sets of chromosomes). In spring, the male catkins (or 'lamb's tails') turn yellow and shed their pollen, which is carried by the wind to the short, green, female catkins that appear on the same tree. The observations are collected either on paper and are subsequently submit-ted manually to an open-source online database or submitted directly via a newly developed mobile app. The leaf base of silver birch is usually a right angle to the stalk, while for downy birches, it is rounded. [18] In Finland, mämmi, a traditional Easter food, was packed and baked in boxes of birch bark. [14], Birch dieback disease, associated with the fungal pathogens Marssonina betulae and Anisogramma virgultorum, can affect planted trees, while naturally regenerated trees seem less susceptible. The inner bark is edible and it was ground up and used in bread-making in times of famine. It has serrate leaves, not doubly serrate like silver birch. These may eventually overshadow the downy birch and replace it as the dominant tree. © Copyright: Images: Jouko Lehmuskallio. Three varieties are recognised and it hybridises with the silver and dwarf birches. They are duller green than silver birch, on a shorter leaf-stalk, 7-15 mm in length. The fruit is a pendulous, cylindrical aggregate 1 to 4 cm (0.4 to 1.6 in) long and 5 to 7 mm (0.2 to 0.3 in) wide which disintegrates at maturity, releasing the individual seeds; these seeds are 2 mm (0.08 in) long with two small wings along the side. (ed. In Scandinavia and Finland, this is done on a domestic scale, but in the former USSR, particularly Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, birch sap is harvested commercially and used to manufacture cosmetics, medicines and foodstuffs. Leaf Properties & Uses: ... Downy Birch also has a more upright growth habit of the branches, compared with Silver birch that does the more stereotypical cascading, ‘pendulous’ branches. UCL School of Pharmacy, UK. Yet, downy birches are characterised by hairy leaves and young shoots, whereas the same parts on silver birch are hairless. → Distribution map of Mountain birch (Kasviatlas, University of Helsinki). The tree is a pioneer species, readily colonising cleared land, but later being replaced by taller, more long-lived species. Among the native birch found in North and Central Europe to Siberia, the downy or warty birch (also white or silver birch) is the most abundant in Central Europe. The silver birch has pointed, triangular leaves. My immediate intuition was that these must be eggs of the two-spot ladybird, so I photographed them and then later compared the photo with images on the Internet of ladybird eggs – it looked like I was correct. It quickly grows into a tree, up to 30m, with a dominant trunk and overhanging branches. Downy beech is a deciduous tree with a single trunk up to 25 m in height. It is often shrub-like, has several trunks and stays shorter than the southern subspecies. Leaf. On one leaf I came across a few small downy birch aphids feeding next to a cluster of pale yellow eggs. Moor birch trees (Betula pubescens), Birkenbruch Forest, autumnal discolored ferns, Steinhude Nature Reserve, Lower Saxony. Downy birch, also known as white birch, is a very variable tree. However, Downy Birch has smooth, downy shoots, whereas they are hairless and warty in European White Birch. Birch pollen might also cause allergies in people who are sensitive to certain other plants, including apples, soybeans, hazelnuts, and peanuts. The two species can be distinguished by their leaves, with those of downy birch being rounder in shape than silver birch, and having a single row of teeth on the leaf margin, in contrast to the double row of teeth on silver birch leaves. Betula pubescens is commonly known as downy birch, with other common names including moor birch, white birch, European white birch or hairy birch. Scientific Name: Betula pubescens. [4], Three varieties are recognised, the nominate Betula pubescens var. Silver Birch, Common Alder, Dwarf Birch, Grey Alder, Hazel, Silver Birch. [1][5] It is a pioneer species which establishes itself readily in new areas away from the parent tree. The bark of the downy birch is a dull greyish white, whereas the silver birch has striking white, papery bark with black fissures. Downy birch can reach over 20m in height with a light canopy and slender crown. Its young twigs are hairy and smooth, not hairless and covered with resin warts like those of silver birch. Closer view of the spore capsules of some slender mouse-tail moss (Isothecium myosuroides var. Dwarf Birch, This can be consumed fresh, concentrated into a syrup similar to the better-known maple syrup, or can be fermented into an ale or wine. Birch Rust caused by Melampsoridium betulinum on leaf of downy birch or Betula pubescens - Buy this stock photo and explore similar images at Adobe Stock Sales: 888-649-2990 Sell This variety is notable as being one of very few trees native to Iceland and Greenland, and is the only tree to form woodland in Iceland. Downy birch is also a pioneer species, especially in Northern Finland. The genus Betula comprises some 40 species, both trees, shrubs, and dwarf shrubs. This is how north-western Europe was recolonised by trees following th… The bark of the Downy Birch is a dull greyish white or pale brown, but that of E. White Birch is striking white, papery, with black fissures. The leaves of silver birch are more noticeably serrated - even the teeth may have teeth! Tree Size: 33-65 ft (10-20 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter. No need to register, buy now! a fungus (Taphrina betulina). Feather, probably from a robin (Erithacus rubecula) and fallen downy birch leaf on the branch of a birch tree covered in slender mouse-tail moss (Isothecium myosuroides var. [3], Downy birch can be distinguished from silver birch with its smooth, downy shoots, which are hairless and warty in silver birch. The leaves are ovate-acute, 2 to 5 cm (0.8 to 2.0 in) long and 1.5 to 4.5 cm (0.6 to 1.8 in) broad, with a finely serrated margin. [4], Betula pubescens has a wide distribution in northern and central Europe and Asia. Downy birch is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers (catkins) are found on the same tree. Appearing from April to May, male catkins are long and yellow-brown in colour. Leaves: Ovate, short-pointed, serrate (with sawlike margins), often hairy beneath. ), 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T194521A2344298.en, European Forest Genetic Resources Programme, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Betula_pubescens&oldid=992415464, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 04:05. At one time the island is thought to have been covered in downy birch woodland, but that cover is reduced to about one percent of the land surface today. Downy birch is native to Europe but has naturalized in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont. The larva of the autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata) feeds on the foliage and in some years, large areas of birch forest can be defoliated by this insect. The bark is smooth, dull greyish-white with dark-brown horizontal lenticels, and peels into papery layers with age. UCL School of Pharmacy & Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. [17], The Sami people of Scandinavia used the bark of both B. pubescens and B. pendula as an ingredient in bread-making; the reddish phloem, just below the outer bark, was dried, ground up and blended with wheat flour to make a traditional loaf. The shoots are grey-brown with fine downy. The small flowers are unisexual, the inflorescence a catkin-like, dense compound cyme. In Iceland, dwarf birch and downy birch sometimes hybridise, the resulting plants being triploid (with three sets of chromosomes). pumila (arctic downy birch or mountain birch, formerly called B. p. subsp. Many fungi are associated with the tree and certain pathogenic fungi are the causal agents of birch dieback disease. A number of cultivars have been grown but many are no longer in cultivation. Elizabeth M. Williamson . Inflorescences dense, pendent catkins formed by numerous, 2–3-flowered cymes. This bark is also rich in tannin and has been used as a brown dye and as a preservative. Damage to the leaf tissue stimulates the tree to produce chemicals that reduce foliage quality, retarding the growth of the larvae and reducing their pupal weights. Subspecies: Downy Birch or White Birch (ssp. Downy Birch (right) have more rounded, ovate leaves with less acutely pointed tips. 2–20 m (6.5–65 ft.), usu. Betula pubescens (syn. Birch, Silver and Downy Betula pendula Roth; B. pubescens Ehrh. However, naturally formed Downy Birch appears to be more resistant to it. [6] The inner bark can be used for the production of rope and for making a form of oiled paper. Specimens of the subarctic populations are usually small and very contorted, and are often distinguished as arctic downy birch or mountain birch, B. p. var. Some of the most common fungi include Ceriporia reticulata, Chondrostereum purpureum, Exidia repanda, Hyphoderma spp, Inonotus obliquus, Inonotus radiatus, Mycena galericulata, Mycena rubromarginata, Panellus ringens, Peniophora incarnata, Phellinus lundellii, Radulomyces confluens, Stereum rugosum, Trechispora spp., Tubulicrinis spp. The bark can also be turned into a high quality charcoal favoured by artists. pumila. [2] It also prefers damper environments, being found on bogs, and tolerates shadier conditions. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins, produced in early spring before the leaves. The rising sap in spring can be used to make refreshing drinks, wines, ales and liqueurs and various parts of the tree have been used in herbal medicine. The leavesare ovate-acute, 2 to 5 cm (0.8 to 2.0 in) long and 1.5 to 4.5 cm (0.6 t… Leaves can be used as tea and in herbal medicines, and sap as a stimulating drink in spring. and hybrids Sarah E. Edwards. However, the two species can often hybridise resulting in more mixed features (2). [21] The removal of bark was at one time so widespread that Carl Linnaeus expressed his concern for the survival of the woodlands. [7][8] (not to be confused with B. nana). It is a deciduous tree growing to 10 to 20 m (33 to 66 ft) tall (rarely to 27 m), with a slender crown and a trunk up to 70 cm (28 in) (exceptionally 1 m) in diameter, with smooth but dull grey-white bark finely marked with dark horizontal lenticels. czerepanovii) dominates. Search for more papers by this author. The bark can be stripped off without killing the tree and the bark and the timber is used for turnery and in the manufacture of plywood, furniture, shelves, coffins, matches, toys and wood flooring. [11] Two others, described by the German botanist Ernst Schelle in 1903, are also lost; pendula, a cultivar with a leader and weeping branches,[12] and pendula nana, which grows into an umbrella-shaped tree with weeping branches but no leader. It can be a shrub with several stems, with spreading or ascending branches. A number of cultivars have been developed but many are no longer in cultivation. [2][3], B. pubescens is closely related to, and often confused with, the silver birch (B. pendula). arctic downy birch), a relatively small (<10m), shrubby tree having smaller leaves twisted trunks and branches and which predominates above about 300m and in the north and west highlands. As successive generations live, shed leaves and die, a richer soil underneath the trees builds up. In terms of genetic structure, the trees are quite different, but do, however, occasionally hybridise. Flowers when coming into leaf. Like several other birches in New England, it has white, smooth, peeling bark, which has been used by the Chippewa in building canoes. Inês da Costa Rocha. It is found on heathland, moorland and mountainsides, as well as on damp soils. They are also prone to a few pests such as the Bronze Birch Borer and Asian Longhorn beetle. Search for more papers by this author. myosuroides) on the trunk of a downy birch tree beside the Burn of Segal. [23], {{cite iucn}}: error: |doi= / |page= mismatch (, Väre, H. 2001: Mountain birch taxonomy and floristics of mountain birch Habitat: Moist coniferous and mixed forests, spruce swamps, eutrophic fens, ditches, shores, field and road margins. [6] The timber is pale in colour with a fine, uniform texture and is used in the manufacture of plywood, furniture, shelves, coffins, matches and toys, and in turnery. High blood pressure: There is some concern that birch leaf might increase the amount of salt that the body retains, and this can make high blood pressure worse. Distribution: Northern Europe, Asia, Iceland, and Greenland. [22] The leaves can be infused with boiling water to make a tea, and extracts of the plant have been used as herbal remedies. It is closely related to, and often confused with, the silver birch (B. pendula), but grows in wetter places with heavier soils and poorer drainage; smaller trees can also be confused with the dwarf birch (B. nana). Unlike its close relative, downy birch does not require much light, and it thrives also on waterlogged sites. This makes it possible for other, more demanding trees to move in. Growing form and height: Tree with a single trunk or shrub with several main stems. [20] In Iceland, trimmings of birch trees are used with birch sap in the making of a sweet birch liqueur. Genus Betula can be deciduous trees or shrubs, usually colouring well in autumn and often with striking white, pink, or peeling brown bark; separate male and female … The leaves have a petiole or leaf stalk. The leaves of the downy birch are rounder in shape than those of silver birch. The twigs and young branches are very flexible and make good whisks and brooms. Downy birch is a deciduous broadleaf tree native to the UK and northern Europe and northern Asia It is also known as moor birch, white birch, common white birch and European white birch Downy birch is found on damper soils than silver birch, and can even tolerate waterlogged or peaty condition Downy Birch leaves have a grey underside (left) that are slightly hairy but in the main only when the leaf is young. Birch leaves are a source of food for various butterflies. Pests: ‘Witches brooms’ are a type of gall caused by . [16], The outer layer of bark can be stripped off the tree without killing it and can be used to make canoe skins, drinking vessels and roofing tiles. True to its species name, its twigs are covered in short, stiff hairs. Downy Birch (B. alleghaniensis pictured) Common Name(s): Downy Birch, European White Birch. All rights reserved. The trunks of birches are covered with white or darkish, often papery bark. [6], Downy birch extends farther north into the Arctic than any other broadleaf tree. In outbreak years, large areas of birch forest can be defoliated by this insect. The drooping branches have dark scars and the twigs are softly hairy and smooth, as are the grey-brown shoots, covered in fine, downy white hairs. Can get to 20m ( 65ft ) have silvery white bark and a leaf margin that roughly! On waterlogged sites grown but many are no longer in cultivation & Royal Botanic,. Favoured by artists often papery bark turned into a high quality, affordable RF and RM.! 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This tree making furniture more long-lived species, snow fall, and tolerates shadier conditions a wide distribution in Finland... From April to may, male catkins are long and yellow-brown in colour Longhorn beetle shoots whereas. Often hairy beneath spreading or ascending branches Forest, autumnal discolored ferns, Steinhude Nature Reserve, Lower.! To 25 m in height with a single trunk up to 25 m in Scotland very flexible and good... A light canopy and slender crown to brownish, lacking perianth of mountain birch ( Kasviatlas, University of )! Of famine catkin-like, dense compound cyme with sawlike margins ), Forest... Hybridise resulting in more mixed features ( 2 ) the dominant tree cluster of pale yellow eggs different. Of Helsinki ), 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m ) trunk diameter main stems type. Form of oiled paper dieback, a traditional Easter food, was packed and baked in boxes birch... In times of famine it hybridises with the tree and certain pathogenic fungi the. Serrated ) a single trunk up to 25 m in Scotland bogs, and melt.... A pioneer species which establishes itself readily in new areas away from the of! A stimulating drink in spring to obtain a sugary fluid finely serrated in downy birch are more to. For making furniture snow fall, and tolerates shadier conditions species name, its southernmost limit being Turkey the! A form of oiled paper pubescens and B. p. var serrate leaves, not doubly serrate silver.