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Common Silver Birch

Betula pendula

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

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, flowers are non-showy and cream-green in colour, arranged in catkins.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Summer

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

Geography

Origin
Europe

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Personality

Family
Betulaceae
Flower colour
Flowers are in the form of cream-green catkins that hang off the branches., Cream, Green
Scent
None

Problems

Anthracnose, black sawfly, bronze birch borer

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