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silver birch

Planted in 1975

Trunk circumference at coring height: 104 cm.

As this is the youngest tree that was cored, it gave much more accurate information about this tree's time of planting. 


As the Silver Birch was one of the first trees to return after the last Ice Age, the focus of the tree/human narrative is seasonality. 


Silver Birches are pioneer species because of their fast early growth and because they quickly become both frost and wind resistant. They grow on a wide range of soils from very poor to medium nutrient ones. They are a relatively short-lived species and mature trees often die after a severe drought (e.g. 1976, 2003).


This tree is healthy, and is able to produce a lot of sap. The rings on this particular tree are very indistinct, so it protects more of its secrets than other species. Its heartwood starts in 2011. It shows a crack in the core in 2015 (cause unknown) and there is unusual diagonal growth in 1976/75. This may be due to the 1976 drought. 


The tree showed signs of stress in the 1976 drought through changes in the way (rather than the amount) that it grew. It didn’t flourish in 1986 and 1996, but otherwise its growth has been fairly consistent. 

1982 I saw the sea beginning to freeze at Brighton.
I walked down an alleyway to take a look at it. 
The wind was so strong I could lean my entire body weight in to it.
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