- Position: full sun or lightly dappled shade
- Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: March
- Flower colour: yellowy-brown male catkins
- Other features: graceful pendant branches and attractive white bark
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Diamond-shaped, bright green leaves hang from graceful, pendant branches. It is a fast-growing tree with white, peeling bark that becomes marked with black, rugged cracks as it gets older. In spring, yellow-brown male catkins appear and in late autumn the foliage turns yellow before falling. It is one of the most widely used birches, grown for its narrow, conical shape and ability to grow in almost all soils and situations.
All the Betulas we supply are single-stemmed, but they can be planted close together to creat a multi-stemmed effect.
- Garden care: Birches dont need much pruning, but you may want to remove any diseased or crossing branches. It is essential that any pruning work is carried out between late summer to mid winter as the sap will 'bleed' heavily at other times. When planting incorporate lots of well-rotted garden compost in the planting and stake well.
Do you want to ask a question about this?If so, click on the button and fill in the box below. We will post the question on the website, together with your alias (bunnykins, digger1, plantdotty etc etc) and where you are from (Sunningdale/Glasgow etc). We'll also post the answer to your question!
Q:Hi, I have just moved into a new property and my garden is a blank canvas, my garden is also not very big. About 30ft by 25ft. I would love a silver birch but not sure if possible. Do you have any suggestions on possible trees, as I want to add height. The garden is south facing. Many thanksAsked on 1/6/2016 by Moo from Clacton-on-sea
Betulas can get pretty big, so are probably not a good choice, but you could opt for any of the following...
http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/prunus-kiku-shidare-zakura/classid.4643/Answered on 16/6/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:How tall will a weeping silver birch be in 10 years? Also how many years after planting will the bark become white? Would it be suitable as a lawn tree in smallish very rural garden? Many thanks for any assistance.Asked on 9/3/2016 by dog lady from Alton, Hampshire
It is really hard to say how tall a Betula pendula will be in 10 years as the rate of growth depends on external factors such as where it is planted, water, nutrients, soil etc. but normally these trees are fast growing given the right conditions. However this is a large tree, - it grow to 25m x 10m eventually so not a tree we recommend for a small garden.
It can take up to about 7years to have the white stems
I have attached a link below to trees that are better suited to a small garden.
Hope this helps.Answered on 11/3/2016 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:How close can I plant three silver birch trees for screeningAsked on 9/5/2015 by Granny from Dorchester
You can plant them really quite close together - say as close as 50cm.Answered on 15/5/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:Could you tell me the approximate height of the birch trees when it arrives? I can see what height it can grow to - but not its height now. Thank youAsked on 27/10/2014 by Birch from London
This betula in a 10lt pot will be approx 0.9-1.2m tall when delivered.
Hope this helps.Answered on 29/10/2014 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:Hello, I was looking at one of your birches the other day and a plant that was listed as 'goes well with' seems to have disappeared. It is a green 'ground cover' plant, which you described as something no garden should be without. I have seen it before and really like it but the name never seems to stick. It is low growing (maybe 30cms at most) quite bushy and brightish green. Grows in a clump, looks good alongside lavender.
Thank youAsked on 5/5/2014 by redpoppy from Sydenham
I am not sure which plant it was that you saw, but I have attached a few links to some of the evergreen plants that are low growing that we have linked with the Betulas.
Liriope muscari 'Monroe White'
or I wonder if you are thinking of the perennial Alchemilla mollis
Hope this helpsAnswered on 8/5/2014 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:I have a Betula which I have allowed to develop feathery twigs and branches around the base of the trunk but now it is affecting the growth of another nearby plant and I would like to cut them back to the trunk. Can you let me know what time of year I can do this as I understand that doing this at the wrong time can kill the tree.Asked on 13/3/2013 by Gardener from South Wales
birches tend to 'bleed' heavily if cut at the wrong time of the year, so it is important to only prune them when they are completely dormant. The best time to tackle these lower branches then is from autumn to mid-winter. If they are interfering with surrounding plants now, then I would try to tie them up until they can be removed safely.Answered on 13/3/2013 by Helen from Crocus
Q:Fast growing tree for screening
Hi Can you advise me please? I am looking for a tree to break-up the view of the rear of a neighbours' house. Eventual height would be around 15 - 18m. I'd prefer it to be taller rather than very wide spreading. I am thinking about one of your Silver Birch trees as we already have a lovely very large specimen in our garden. My only reservation is that we will need to plant it within a couple of metres of a garden wall and I don't want the roots to become a problem in the future. Not sure what kind of soil we have but we are a mile or so from the coast (Merseyside) so guess slightly sandy! The position is partial sun. Ideally I am looking for something that will have some impact quite quickly i.e. by next summer. Any suggestions? Am I on the right track with a Silver Birch? How much could I expect it to grow within a year? Also, when is the best time for planting? Thanks in advance KateAsked on 26/10/2009 by Kate
A:Hello Kate, Silver birches are lovely, but anything that grows to 15m tall, will produce a substantial root system that may cause damage to footings eventually. This however is usually much less of a problem in sandy soils as it is in heavy clays as the sand will give way to the roots. Most Betulas are fast growing, but how much they grow in a certain year will be determined by a number of factors including the available water, light and nutrients. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 26/10/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Are your Birches multi-stemmed?
Could you tell me if your Birch trees are multi-stemmed or single-stemmed?Asked on 11/8/2006 by Gavin
A:We only sell single-stemmed Betulas, but if you want a multi-stemmed effect, you can plant several of these young trees together.Answered on 14/8/2006 by Crocus
As summer turns to autumn, thoughts turn to tidying the garden after the exuberance of summer and it is now an ideal time to prune many late-summer-flowering shrubs to keep them vigorous and flowering well. It’s also not too late to complete the pruning jRead full article
A sanctuary of peace and tranquillity with an overwhelming sense of calm, a woodland garden is an ideal place to get away from it all with natural shade and privacy. Based on a simple grouping of trees or even a single, multi-stemmed specimen, a woodland-Read full article
October sees the start of the dormant season which is the best time to prune lots of deciduous garden trees. You can prune newly planted trees to remove any damaged growth and help balance the shape of the canopy as well as maintain a dominant main leaderRead full article