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Tree Campus: Silver Birch

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Silver Birch, Dalecarlica Weeping Birch, Cutleaf European White Birch

Betula pendula (BETULACEAE)



Europe, Asia



"The main features which characterize the behaviour of the birches in communities are their ability quickly to colonize bare areas, their intolerance of shade, their lack of affinity for any particular soil type and their ability to grow on nutrient-poor soils... Birches establish most effectively on bare soils and very poorly in even the lowest vegetation... Grazing by deer and sheep of seedlings inside and immediately outside woodland prevents regeneration of upland birch woodland... Recently burned areas are ideal for germination of seed and establishment of seedlings." [2]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Birch timber was used by prehistoric man in trackways, and sheets of bark were used for flooring. At Seamer, Yorkshire, flints were embedded in weapons with pitch from birch bark. In more recent times, twigs were used for besoms, fire beaters, horse jumps, and for clearing vinegar, but none of these is commercially important now. Birch wood was used for furniture, small articles of turnery and for stirring molten metals in the non-ferrous metals industry." [2]



"In the context of societal evolutions and customer perceptions, birch wood could play an increasing role in the building and furniture sectors, and among non-wood forest products. In Western Europe, the main obstacle to birch development is the lack of information on the wood uses and, consequently, the lack of interest among forest managers and wood processing professionals, which have led to a poor quality of the resource and to insufficient demand for its wood. Moreover, its fast height growth can affect the vitality of other species in mixed stands." [1]



[1] Dubois, H., Verkasalo, E., & Claessens, H. (2020). Potential of Birch (Betula pendula Roth and B. pubescens Ehrh.) for Forestry and Forest-Based Industry Sector within the Changing Climatic and Socio-Economic Context of Western Europe. Forests, 11(3), 336.

[2] Atkinson, M. D. (1992). Betula pendula Roth (B. verrucosa Ehrh.) and B. pubescens Ehrh. Journal of Ecology, 80(4), 837-870.

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