Growing and using wood for energy - the evidence

Evidence for growth in the UK: birch

Evidence and trials > Evidence for growth - birch

Birch is one of the native hardwoods that appears to be a good candidate for rapid growth on short rotations

Amenity plantings of birch (and some other species) by the Milton Keynes Parks Trust have responded well to annual fertilisation between their second and fifth year from planting.

In December 1988, Horticulture Research International at East Malling, Kent established a trial of birch (Betula pendula) that was produced in an EU-funded R&D project on tree propagation techniques. The photograph shows the trees 13 years from planting, having been grown using conditions more analogous to orchard management than traditional forestry. Despite the excellent growth (which met the project objectives), it is very likely that growth conditions were not optimal in several respects. Thus the true growth potential of birch remains unclear.

E.nitens  in West Sussex, January 2007