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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM

Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit

Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Vines And Other Climbing Plants.

Fish Ponds

Books By
Alan J Hartley



Tree Project.

Betula Pendula - Silver Birch.
The native Silver Birch is one of most popular trees for back garden type situations here in the UK. It can get up to 60 feet in ideal conditions, but is often much smaller and its feathery branches and foliage means that it doesn’t cast heavy shade unlike many other trees. It generally grows straight up as well meaning that you never have to deal with overhanging branches. Birch are an easy tree to grow, growing fairly quickly in most situations and they are also tolerant of most soil conditions which only adds to their appeal. However, Birch tend to live to only about 40, or 50 year, although some species such as the Yellow Birch can live up to 300 years, or so.

Timber obtained from Birch Trees is good for Furniture, but they are not grown for logging here in the UK. There are other uses to which Birch Trees are put though and one is the Bark is used in the Tanning process for Leather and traditionally Besom Brooms are made using Ash Tree staves and Birch twigs for the bristles. Flower arrangers also sometimes use the lightweight stems in decorations. Being a Native Tree, the Birch is good for Wildlife with Birds eating their seeds and their bark makes good food for Rabbits and Deer. This makes the Birch a very good choice of tree to plant in Spinneys and small plantations where you are trying to encourage wildlife. However, Birch can be considered a bit of a fire hazard as they are highly flammable and will readily burn even when wet.
Silver Birch are best known though for their silvery/white stems and trunks where their papery bark often peels away making them very ornamental and decorative. Indeed the “Paper Bark Birch,” or Betula Papyrifolia is the best of all and the “Himalayan Birch,” has the whitest bark. On the other hand the “Black Birch,” or Betula Nigra,” commonly known as the “River Birch,” because it often grows on river banks such is its liking for water, has stems that are almost black and stand out in a garden very well. One of the smaller members of the birch family, growing to only a maximum of 40-50 feet in 20 years, also makes the Black Birch an especially good choice for gardens.



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