Silver Birch

A birch tree can grow to 30m tall; it has deep roots which can reach nutrients deep down in the soil. The birch is highly adaptable and can thrive in harsh conditions.

Silver Birch is a ‘pioneer’ tree, and is one of the first trees to establish among gorse or brambles, as part of natural regeneration of woodland. We have lots of self sown silver birches at Bank Woods. Catkins appear in April, and after pollination, tiny seeds are spread by the wind.

Birch forms a light canopy which lets light through so that woodland flowers can grow. This is one of the reasons we love to plant them at Sylvan Nature Reserve, Bank Woods and Dowgill Grange.

Birch trees provide food and habitat for many insect species. Woodpeckers and other birds often nest in the trunk, and eat the seeds. Birch twigs are traditionally used to make a ‘besom’ or broom, and the strong wood can be used to make furniture. In Celtic folklore Birch is associated with transformation, growth and new beginnings.