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Pretty, pale, a symbol of purity. This striking tree, with its silver-white bark, is favoured by gardeners who want to renew and purify their land for the coming year. Silver Birch can be used to improve soil quality. Its widely spread roots bring otherwise inaccessible nutrients into the tree, which are recycled on to the soil surface when the tree sheds its leaves.
When mature they can reach 30m in height, forming a light canopy with elegant, drooping branches. that allow foliage to thrive beneath them. Silver birch provides food and shelter for a broad range of species – from insects to fungi. Woodpeckers and other hole-nesting birds often nest in the trunk, while other bird species savour the seeds.
Historically birch symbolises renewal and purification and is a symbol of love and fertility. Birch wood is tough and heavy and was once was once used to make hardwearing bobbins, spools and reels for the Lancashire cotton industry. The outer bark can be harvested and used for canoe building or weaving bags and baskets.