Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive
This series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens is compiled by members of the Friends group and Gardens staff. We aim to build up to a comprehensive archive of trees in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Each article illustrates a tree growing in Belfast Botanic Gardens together with information from a range of sources. Where possible we will give the tree tag number - these are the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
54 deg 35.001N
5 deg 55.966W
Silver birch (Betula pendula) is native to almost all
of the British Isles, although commoner in the south, preferring drier and
acid soils. The leaves are toothed with large and small teeth, taper to a
sharp point and are without hairs. These characters distinguish the silver
birch from the downy bitch (Betula pubescens) which has a more rounded
tip to the leaf and hairy leaves. The female catkins of silver birch stick
up from the hanging branches while the male catkins hang down. There are several
fine specimens in Belfast Botanic Gardens, one close to the Botanic Avenue
gate (photographed here) and another by the gate into the garden works yard.
|Silver birch in Belfast Botanic Gardens
||Leaf of silver birch
|Female catkin of silver birch, detail inset
||Male catkin of silver birch, detail inset
|Typical silvery bark of mature silver birch, Belfast Botanic
||The more rounded leaf of Betula pubescens for comparison
Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2010. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.
Click here to view the rest of the tree archive