Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Tree Champions: Cycling

Posted: June 7, 2012 at 10:17 am Author: Westonbirt's learning and participation team

From 6 - 8 June, Westonbirt's learning and participation team will be hosting the Tree Champions family event. The event will include a trail around some of our own Olympic champions - our trees and shrubs - as well as some great Olympic-themed craft activities with a woody twist! Here, the team reveal some of the Tree Champion facts you can discover at Westonbirt…


Silver birch is known as a pioneer species.

It is one of the first species of tree to grow in open ground.

Birches help to improve poor soils and thus enable other species to move in.

They do this by drawing nutrients up into their leaves and then when the leaves fall in autumn the nutrients are used by other organisms.

Birch trees produce 3 to 4 tonnes of leaf litter per hectare each year – large scale nutrient cycling!

One reason why birch is such a successful pioneer species is that each tree can produce nearly 9 million seeds each year, continuing the cycle of life.

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