A young tree has appeared in my garden and managed to grow to over 3ft tall before we noticed it. I think it might be a Silver Birch can anyone confirm please?
Not a birch. Might be one of the willows
Are those things on the right hand stem fluffy?
Yes, a willow - they grow very quickly,
The right stem has leaf buds and yes they are a bit downy. If it is a willow should I keep it? I had to dig it up from where it had grown, it's in a pot at the moment but not showing any sign of suffering from the move.
Genovese, I suggest you google how large it will grow and also if it is a very thirsty type of willow as some willows can take moisture from the foundations of your house, causing subsidence. I believe that a willow should be no closer than 85' from a building.
Those downy buds are the flowers, (catkins or pussies). As in pussy willow.
Don't think a willow is a good idea in a 'normal' sized garden - not always a good idea in a large one! And definitely nowhere near a house, or drainage system or retaining wall etc.!!!
Thanks for your help guys