Tree identification

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
He’s right, it’s either Betula pendula or pubescens. Hard to tell apart without the leaves, the pubescens being...slightly hairy of course :)
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
Besides cellulose, the active flammable part is a waxy substance called "suberin."
That varies from one species to the next, even variable among the trees in a stand.
Consequently, the bark is easily stored for long times, even wet or damp, with no ingition problems.

Betula papyrifera in Canada is the multipurpose tree of eastern First Nations.
That's replaced by western red cedar (Thuja plicata) west of the Rockies where I live.

Once again, it's an issue of surface area to volume ratio =
the thinner you can separate it, the more quickly it can heat up and flame.
 

Edtwozeronine

Member
Jan 18, 2020
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Newport City
They seem to be falling over the most in our local woodland, those and silver birches. I noticed they appear to be rotting at the base of the trunk a lot, my theory being the ground is getting too saturated with rain in the winter months causing them to rot rather than grow.

Anyone think this could be the case all around the UK?
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
Both Silver and Downy Birch prefer well drained woodland, heaths and hillsides and don't generally grow well in damp wetland. They are a pioneering species and will quickly self seed on disturbed soil but if that then gets wet due to changes in drainage or simply because the tree started growing in a dry year they will struggle. The evidence is not supporting the theory that our winters are wetter but it does suggest that our summers are. I doubt, at this stage, if weather changes are causing birch to die - it's more likely some other reason for the water table change IMO.
 

gra_farmer

Forager
Mar 29, 2016
242
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Kent
He’s right, it’s either Betula pendula or pubescens. Hard to tell apart without the leaves, the pubescens being...slightly hairy of course :)
You have got to love Latin, and the true key to learning Latin is that the taxonomist linnaeus was a pervert, pubescens, vulgaris.... Although to be fair the translation is downy and common, still it helped my students remember Latin names
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
4,497
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W.Sussex
You have got to love Latin, and the true key to learning Latin is that the taxonomist linnaeus was a pervert, pubescens, vulgaris.... Although to be fair the translation is downy and common, still it helped my students remember Latin names
The Latin for Common Stinkhorn being the all time number one. :lmao:

A brilliant language, mashed up with some Greek has given us words like television.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,276
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McBride, BC
Teaching dendrology and tree species identification from fresh specimens.
Was fun to give the students common names in other languages of species origin. German, for example.
If they wanted english, they had to find that, themselves. Latin rules supreme.

Real taxonomic identification is based upon flowers and fruits. Bark and leaves are less useful.
My education in wood anatomy, species are like fingerprints = easily sorted out.