birches by the bankside Tate

There are hundreds of birches
by the bankside Tate.

Below: Four birch trees
in Lincoln's Inn Fields.

birches in Lincoln' Inn Fields

Trees of London
Lincoln's Inn Fields


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              The downy birch and its sister tree the silver birch are both natives of Britain.  The birch is an easy tree to identify; no other tree has a bark so unique. However, the downy and the silver birches are very similar and it is difficult to distinguish between the two. They have similar bark, though the downy is usually whiter, less of the black bits; these are bad examples. The nuts (catkins) are similar, the leaves are similar, everything is similar. You have to get up close and feel them to tell the difference. Incidentally, though these downy birches are not great examples, they are worth looking at because the downy birch is a lot less common in London than the silver birch, and there aren't any silver birches in Lincoln's Inn. The downy has smooth, downy shoots; the silver birch has hairless and warty ones. Downy, in this context, means feathery or fluffy, hairy.

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Other Trees at Lincoln's Inn fields

Judas tree      silver maple      laburnum

Indian bean      hazel      oak

Lincoln's Inn fields

Tree Identification

Betula pubescens:

alternate; quite small 2 cm; diamond shaped; shiny.

birch leaf
birch nutlets

2 winged nutlets.

birch nutlets


birch tree bark bark:
unmistakeable white.
grows to 20 metres; straight.
general: native to Britain, but common everywhere, especially Russia.

A group of birch trees are located
just to the left of the south east
entrance to the square.
yellow: birch trees.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©