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A picture of a Common Silver Birch

Common Silver Birch

Betula pendula

Also known as

Warty Birch, East Asian White Birch, Silver Birch, Bed Wen, Birk Tree, Common Birch, European White Birch, Lady Birch, Lady Of The Woods, Weeping Birch, Eurasian Weeping Birch

Betula pendula-03 by Ralf Roletschek (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy

H7-H5

RHS hardiness

-20°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

25m

Max

8m

15m

Min

4m

30 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images

A photo of Common Silver Birch
Birkenblätter Betula pendula
Betula pendula (25)
Betula pendula in Sedovo 1

Overview

This is an elegant species of deciduous tree with characteristic white peeling bark. They can grow over 12m in height, making them a medium sized tree. The trunks are usually quite slender, with a rugged texture and slim, drooping branches. Young branches have deep purple-tinged bark and hang gracefully from the main branches. The tree has an upswept branch structure that weeps. Leaves are ovate in shape, coloured green and turning yellow in autumn. This plant is termed monoecious as it produces both male and female flowers on the same individual plant. These flowers are non-showy and yellow to cream-green in colour, they are either male or female and they are arranged in catkin structures, appearing in the spring.

Common problems

Anthracnose, black sawfly, bronze birch borer

Propagation

Cuttings

Betula pendula can be grown from softwood cuttings taken from the stem tips between late spring and early summer.

Seed

These are best sown as soon as it is ripe. They should be put in a cold frame in a light position, with soil only just covering the seeds. When sowing in the spring they should be surface sown in a sunny position. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, pick them by hand and pot into individual pot, continuing to grow them in the cold frame for their first winter.

Special Features

Pioneer

Drought resistant

Attractive flowers

Flowers are in the form of cream-green catkins that hang off the branches.