Shrubby birch is Latvia's tree of the year 2024

The Latvian Society of Dendrologists (LDB) has selected the shrubby birch (Betula humilis Schrank) as the tree of 2024, stressing the importance of preserving wetlands – the habitat of the year, the association's website says.

The society noted that the shrubby birch is one of four birch species found in Latvia and does not at all resemble the tall white trees one thinks of. The shrubby birch can be encountered more in the eastern and northern parts of Latvia.

It can be observed in marshes, wetlands, as well as lakeside and damp forests.

The shrubby birch is a small bush that can reach up to 2 meters high – giving it the Latvian name, low birch. It is characterized by steep branches, brown bark, and elongated, slightly leathery leaves with a toothed edge and a rounded end of the leaf. The shrubby birch blooms in May.

In Lithuania, the shrubby birch is already included in the endangered species book and assessed as an almost endangered species, while in Poland it is particularly protected. 

Any observation is valuable, so please report them on the portal or email “[email protected]” (with photos attached).

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