Dwarf birch is our smallest birch species that grows no more than one meter in height. It can be easily recognized from its small, round leaves and shrubby appearance.
As the northernmost birch species, Dwarf birch is native to northern Europe and northern Russia all the way to Yenisei in the east and Svalbard in the north. In Finland it is common in the whole country, but in southern parts it occurs only on peatlands where as in northern parts also in heath forests and mountain heaths in the fell areas.
Dwarf birch was previously an important fuel in northern Finland since it burns well both dry and green. As a tough and multi-branched species it was also used as broom bristles. Dwarf birch leaves are a source of food for some geometrid species like Autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata).
Dwarf birch can hinder regeneration of trees in peatland forests because of root system competition.
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