Archive for the ‘Follow a tree’ Category
River Birch or Himalayan Birch???
I was happy to meet Ollie who happened to be walking her dog at the same time. I explained that I was ‘following’ this tree, but was still unsure as to which species it was. She said that she was the one who had trimmed the ivy off the tree. “I know it’s a birch,” she says, “try looking up Himalayan birch” (betula utilis Jacquemontii)
I looked it up, but the Himalayan birch leaf is squarer at the base, not so wedge-shaped.
According to Washington State University, “Himalayan birch is the most widely grown of the birch species in the Pacific Northwest and is greatly prized for its distinctive white bark which makes it a welcome addition during the darker days of winter.“
Logically, since the Himalayan birch is more prevalent in the Pacific Northwest, it follows that this is a Himalayan birch…but of all the Himalayan leaves that are shown on Google images, most of them are “square” at the base, and while the River Birch is native to the southeastern United States, it is tolerant in other climates too as long as it can grow in moist acidic soils. Since it was planted possibly over 40 years ago, this area was getting about 65 inches of rain a year then. It would have been moist enough for a River Birch. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 🙂
Speaking of leaves…
According to SF Gate, “River birch also is valuable as a source of erosion control and is used to reclaim areas with high soil acid caused by mining. Wildlife, such as birds and rodents, eat its seeds, and deer eat its twigs and foliage. Ruby-throated hummingbirds drink its sap.”
Any birch tree experts out there?
River Birch (Betula nigra)
The River birch can thrive in damp soil, but it can also take a certain amount of drought. Birch roots, along with willow and poplar, are among the most aggressive — and destructive — tree roots. The tree’s aggressive roots seek water, prying open cracks or joints in sewer or irrigation systems.
Note: I’m about 85% sure this tree is a River birch. The 15% uncertainty is because when I compare this River birch tree trunk to the River birch tree trunks on the internet, I don’t see any like this one. Furthermore, the catkins look slightly different too. If there are any birch tree experts out there that would like to make a correction, please feel free to do so.
The following web sites were used for River birch information…
According to Wikipedia, “Betula nigra (black birch, river birch, water birch) is a species of birch native to the Eastern United States from New Hampshire west to southern Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and west to Texas.”
It grows in the East, not the West. I guess the jury is still out on the type of birch it is.
I don’t think this is a cottonwood even though the leaves are serrated, or a Balsam Poplar, or a Cascara Buckthorn, but I guess it still could be an Alder or even a birch.
Gardening Know How says… “Alder trees (Alnus spp.) are often used in reforestation projects and to stabilize soil in wet areas, but you seldom see them in residential landscapes.”
I suppose this tree could have been started just from a bird dropping a seed, but I would really like to know what it is. Any ideas?