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Hi, do you have an image of the tree bark at all ?
Chris Brooks - www.dragonfly-images.co.uk
My Flickr site - www.flickr.com/photos/ceb1298
I'll take one this afternoon Chris, and also look for female cones while I'm there.
Chris, was it the photos of the bark that caused you to plump for Betula pendula?
Hi Pete, I suspected it might be SB as the twigs were not downy but the bark confirmed it for me.
Probably B. pubescens, Downy Birch
BMIG website: www.bmig.org.uk (centipedes, millipedes & woodlice)
BMIG Newsletters ~ www.bmig.org.uk/view/resource/bmig-newsletter
BMIG Bulletins ~ www.bmig.org.uk/view/resource/bmig-bulletin
Thanks to everyone for your input to this. I've uploaded a few more photos of the bark as requested in the hope that these might help with identification. If any of the bark photos do turn out to be a clincher, let me know which one(s) and I'll delete the rest of them.
I couldn't see any other type of cone or catkin on the tree other than the ones in the photos.
Many thanks to everyone. I've gone for the Silver Birch (Betula pendula) option in the end. I think everyone agrees that it's a Birch and the only 2 real options in this habitat are B. pendula and B. pubescens. The absence of hairs and the presence of small white warts on the twigs (I'm just about to upload a photo of these) lead to B. pendula. I'll check the leaves when they come out in order to be more certain. The only real things keeping me from being certain at the moment are the 10-14mm long catkins which are erect and pretty solid, unlike the drooping catkins I'm seeing in almost all photos of B. pendula - perhaps these are just immature at the moment?
Lat/Lng: 57.16, -2.2
OS grid ref: NJ880076