Champion Birch Trees in Dunnington!
As a result of a chance encounter while travelling through Dunnington last winter, it has come to light that the village has three of the largest, by girth, Paper-bark Birch trees in England! The trees, located in Cedar Glade, grow close together on an ordinary grass verge and were first noticed from their striking bark.
At first the exact species was in some doubt but once in leaf it was possible to confirm with experts from the Tree Register of Britain and Ireland (TROBI) that they were indeed Paper-bark Birch. TROBI has a database of thousands of tree records throughout the British Isles and from this their "Champion" English girth status for the species was established.
This tree is native to North America and is famous for its one time indigenous use for the production of canoes. Indeed it is sometimes called the 'Canoe Birch'. The name 'Paper-bark' refers to the peeling strips on the trunk which is rather different from our common British birches. The leaves though are very similar to common birch but a little larger.
Although not a rare tree in Britain, the Dunnington ones are exceptionally fine and it is very unusual to find such specimens outside proper tree collections.
The trees are on land owned by City of York Council. They will be seeking a Tree Preservation Order for all three trees.
Thanks to Treemendous and City of York Council for this information.