- 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.
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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 3/13/2013 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 3/13/2013 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 10/26/2009 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 10/26/2009 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 8/11/2006 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 8/14/2006 by Crocus
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