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Pubescent birch

Betula pubescens

This common birch grows mostly in the form of a bush, so that several trees grow out of the same root or base. Its bark is brownish. The core of such a birch often rots already before the tree is fully-grown. If this birch grows as an individual birch and not as part of a bush of birches, it has grown from a seed; in fertile conditions, such a birch grows very fast.

In Northern Lapland, the pubescent birch is clearly more common than the silver birch. It grows up to twenty metres in height; thus, it is smaller than the silver birch. The bark by the base of the pubescent birch is lighter than the base bark of the silver birch, and it does not crack. The young branches are smooth, unlike those of the silver birch. The leaves are ovate and their teeth are small. The pubescent birch has many trunks more often than the silver birch. The annual shoots are hairy, and they do not have nodules, as in the case of the silver birch. The pubescent birch grows in damp forests, groves and spruce mires and on shores and field- and roadsides. It also grows slower than the silver birch, producing often hybrids with the mountain birch.