Ardagh Village Landscapes
This is an upright deciduous tree, which can grow to about 25 metres in height. They have a relatively short life span rarely living beyond 60 years. It is an ideal pioneer tree a little seedling will reach flowering in only ten years.
The first true trees to arrive in Ireland about 10,500 years ago were birches, Betula pendula and Betula pubescens.
Betula pendula have more or less triangular leaves, usually only 2-4 cm, they have silvery bark which can vary from tree to tree and which becomes rugged with age and with black patches that adds character by its contrasts. The branches are commonly pendulous; twigs are hairless with whitish warts. In spring, the male catkins shaped like yellow lambs tails, enliven the foliage, and in late summer the ripening female catkins repeat this pattern.
Birches tolerate almost any soil type but not waterlogged conditions. They like an open bright position and don’t cast heavy shade due to their small leaves and light canopy. They are therefore an ideal tree for a small garden where other plants can grow well underneath them. They are also suitable for street planting. They can also look very well planted in a group and are ideal for planting as part of a mixed woodland or for wind shelter or screening of farm buildings or unsightly views due to their quick growth.
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