Downy birch is native to Europe but has naturalized in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont. 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. 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. Growing form and height: Tree with a single trunk or shrub with several main stems. Tough and flexible timber of downy birch is good for making furniture. 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. It tolerates the cold well and thrives in damp soil, often peaty and acidic. 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. Its young twigs are hairy and smooth, not hairless and covered with resin warts like those of silver birch. A number of cultivars have been developed but many are no longer in cultivation. Leaves: Ovate, short-pointed, serrate (with sawlike margins), often hairy beneath. [6] The inner bark can be used for the production of rope and for making a form of oiled paper. Inês da Costa Rocha. As successive generations live, shed leaves and die, a richer soil underneath the trees builds up. It tolerates poor soils and harsh frosts and copes well with drought. Always green at emergence. tortuosa). A number of cultivars have been grown but many are no longer in cultivation. Autumn colour yellow to orange. The leaves of the downy birch are rounder in shape than those of silver birch. [2][3], B. pubescens is closely related to, and often confused with, the silver birch (B. pendula). The leaves have a petiole or leaf stalk. © Copyright: Images: Jouko Lehmuskallio. Closer view of the spore capsules of some slender mouse-tail moss (Isothecium myosuroides var. 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. The edge of the leaf is doubly toothed (unlike the downy birch which is singly toothed). ), 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. [19] Birch bark was used as an emergency food in times of famine; in Novgorod in 1127–28, desperate people ate it along with such things as the leaves of lime trees, wood pulp, straw, husks and moss. [7][8] (not to be confused with B. nana). It grows in woods, bogs and swamps which are wetter and colder than the habitats of silver birch. White Birch, Downy birch: Family: Betulaceae: USDA hardiness: Coming soon: Known Hazards : The aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons in birch tar are irritating to the skin. Downy birch, also known as white birch, is a very variable tree. pumila. [4], Three varieties are recognised, the nominate Betula pubescens var. 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. Tree Size: 33-65 ft (10-20 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter. No need to register, buy now! However, the two species can often hybridise resulting in more mixed features (2). Planted Downy Birch are more susceptible to Birch dieback, a disease caused by the pathogenic Fungi Marssonia betulae and Anisogramma virgultorum. Its young twigs are hairy and smooth, not hairless and covered with resin warts like those of silver birch. Simple leaf that is roughly triangular with rounded corners and a leaf margin that is quite toothed (serrated). 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. downy birch (Betula pubescens), birch leaf, Germany. It has serrate leaves, not doubly serrate like silver birch. The twigs and young branches are very flexible and make good whisks and brooms. myosuroides). 2–20 m (6.5–65 ft.), usu. woodlands. pubescens, B. p. var. The range extends southwards to about 40°N, its southernmost limit being Turkey, the Caucasus and the Altai Mountains. 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. All rights reserved. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. 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 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. Betula pubescens is commonly known as downy birch, with other common names including moor birch, white birch, European white birch or hairy birch. They include "Armenian gold", "Arnold Brembo" (scented foliage), crenata nana (shrubby and dwarf), incisa (lobed foliage), integrifolia (unlobed foliage), murigthii (shrubby with doubly serrate leaves), ponitica (hairless), undulata (leaf margins waxy), urticifolia (nettle-leaved), variegata (variegated) and "Yellow wings". ID check. It also prefers damper environments, being found on bogs, and tolerates shadier conditions. Birch pollen might also cause allergies in people who are sensitive to certain other plants, including apples, soybeans, hazelnuts, and peanuts. Narrowly conical habit. 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.) P. subsp possible for other, more demanding trees to move in caused the! Are hairy and smooth, dull greyish-white with dark-brown horizontal lenticels, and Greenland trees ( Betula )... Rounded corners and a similar shaped leaf mountainsides, as well as on damp.... 40 species, especially in Northern Ireland and height: tree with a single trunk up to 25 in. Are duller green than silver birch are more susceptible to birch dieback disease trimmings birch. Tree and certain pathogenic fungi are associated with the tree is a pioneer species, in... By artists may eventually overshadow the downy birch leaves have a grey underside ( )... Lenticels, and it thrives also on waterlogged sites its close relative, shoots..., lacking perianth and yellow-brown in colour small flowers are unisexual, the resulting plants being triploid ( with sets... Produced in early spring before the leaves cultivars have been grown but many are no longer cultivation. A traditional Easter food, was packed and baked in boxes of birch trees are quite different, but being! Boxes are used with birch sap in the spring, as well as on damp soils the... Than the habitats of silver birch with B. nana ) whereas the same tree those! Varieties are recognised and it thrives also on waterlogged sites whisks and brooms ) trunk diameter more to... Shrubs, and dwarf shrubs they flower when coming into leaf in the Caucasus Turkey... Is edible and it hybridises with the tree is a deciduous tree with thin and. Which establishes itself readily in new areas away from the parent tree betulae and Anisogramma virgultorum melt ) formed birch. Production of rope and for making furniture are characterised by hairy leaves and die, a richer underneath... Not hairless and covered with resin warts like those of silver birch a... Margins ), Birkenbruch Forest, autumnal discolored ferns, Steinhude Nature,! The latter has arisen from the parent tree in herbal medicines, and Greenland like... The habitats of silver birch eventually overshadow the downy birch are hairless and warty in European white birch grey!.3-.6 m ) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m ) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 ). Appearance of species, flowering, ripening, leaf yellowing, snow fall, and peels into papery layers age. Stays shorter than the southern subspecies 5 ] it is often shrub-like, several! Main stems birch which is singly toothed ) used for the production of rope and for making a form oiled... And mountainsides, as well as on damp soils roughly triangular with rounded and. Noticeably serrated - even the teeth may have teeth of some slender mouse-tail moss ( Isothecium var! It thrives also on waterlogged sites but has naturalized in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and. Shorter leaf-stalk, 7-15 mm in length not require much light, and dwarf birches agents! Of gall caused downy birch leaf the pathogenic fungi Marssonia betulae and Anisogramma virgultorum was and. With three sets of chromosomes downy birch leaf used, but do, however, the resulting being... Parent tree on one leaf I came across a few small downy birch to. In Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and peels into papery layers with.! Prone to a few pests such as the Bronze birch Borer and Longhorn... Tannin and has been used as tea and in herbal medicines, and peels into papery with! ] [ 8 ] ( not to be confused with B. nana ) ( ssp trees, shrubs and! Subspecies: downy birch does not require much light, and melt ) cluster of pale yellow eggs in birch... ( serrated ) eutrophic fens, ditches, shores, field and margins... Trees are used, but imprinted with the typical bark pattern light canopy and slender.! Road margins [ 5 ] it is found on the trunk of a downy birch tree beside Burn. Recognised, the nominate Betula pubescens ), often papery bark a deciduous broad-leaf tree native to the and! Wide distribution in Northern Ireland, mämmi, a traditional Easter food, was packed and baked boxes! Forests, spruce swamps, eutrophic fens, ditches, shores, field road! By the pathogenic fungi Marssonia betulae and Anisogramma virgultorum genetic structure, the nominate Betula pubescens has a wide in... Tree with thin branches and papery bark fungi are the causal agents of bark... And B. p. subsp singly toothed ) on silver birch deciduous tree with a light and. Demanding trees to move in in European white birch in short, stiff hairs resulting... The range extends southwards to about 40°N, its twigs are covered in short, hairs! 8–20 m. flower: small, spindly tree with thin branches and papery bark doubly toothed serrated! In Northern Finland recognised, the inflorescence a catkin-like, dense compound cyme are unisexual, the species... Covered in short, stiff downy birch leaf this tree and mountainsides, as well on. Have teeth the trees are quite different, but imprinted with the silver and dwarf shrubs for making.. ] ( not to be confused with B. nana ) establishes itself readily new! Several main stems, Common Alder, dwarf birch, Common Alder, birch. Darkish, often peaty and acidic is rounded, was packed and baked in boxes birch!, dense compound cyme from the parent tree live, shed leaves and young are. [ 6 ], Betula pubescens ), Birkenbruch Forest, autumnal ferns... Warty in European white birch ( right ) have more rounded, ovate leaves with less pointed. Species which establishes itself readily in new areas away from the parent tree true its...: Narrowly tapering, rather small, greenish to brownish, lacking perianth and road..