Birch trees are common in the Netherlands. Silver birch is no exception, particularly on sandy soils. Birch woods in this country are native and provide a home to many animals. Like all birch species, the bark is generally smooth and white. Sometimes it peels off like a sheet of paper. Silver birch closely resembles downy birch. In fact, they often cross-pollinate, creating hybrids. Silver birch can withstand difficult conditions, such as lengthy dryness and somewhat acidic soil. Therefore, it is one of the species of trees used on Texel to protect pine trees from from the salty sea wind. It also serves as a fire belt in production forests. You don't want to trim this tree in the spring or summer. Due to the sap stream, the tree will literally bleed to death.