Silver Birch Downy Birch
Silver Birch: Slender tree, drooping twigs. Twigs with whitish raised glands, twigs and leaves not downy. Leaves with slender point, sharp-toothed with regularly-spaced longer teeth. White bark with dark ridges and cracks.
Occasional on light, well-drained acidic soil. Native in Co.Carlow, N.Tipperary and W.Galway, status uncertain in other areas.
Downy Birch: Bushier tree, not pendulous. Downy twigs, small brown glands. Downy leaves without slender point at tip. Darker bark.
Widespread, can be locally abundant. Prefers wetter, acidic, peaty soils. Woods, roadsides, open heaths, cut-away bogs. Native, also frequently planted.