Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive
This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the black tree maintenance tags, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Betula pendula Roth
Black tag 236
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 birch, 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 Betula pendula
|Female catkin of Betula pendula, detail inset
||Male catkin of Betula pendula, detail inset
|Typical silvery bark of mature Betula pendula, 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