Skip to main content
A picture of a Downy Birch

Downy Birch

Betula pubescens

Also known as

Common White Birch, Moor Birch, European White Birch, Silver Birch, White birch, Common white birch, Birch

Betula pubescens by Emr (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

H7

RHS hardiness

-20°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

20m

Max

8m

12m

Min

4m

25 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Downy Birch

A hand holding some green Downy Birch Betula pubescens leaves
A photo of Downy Birch
A Downy Birch Betula pubescens plant
A close up of some green Downy Birch Betula pubescens leaves
Some green Downy Birch Betula pubescens leaves

Downy Birch Overview

Betula pubescens is known commonly by the name Downy Birch, amongst others. It is a deciduous tree species in the Betulaceae family. It has a slender, upright habit, producing softly hairy shoots, which gently droop with age and oval to diamond-shaped leaves. These display attractive autumn colouration, turning yellow. This species grows further north in comparison to other broadleaf species in Britain. Flowering occurs in early spring, around April to May in the UK and this plant is wind-pollinated. This plant is termed monoecious as it produces both male and female flowers, female flowers are green in colour and short. The male flowers are long and yellow-brown in colour, arranged in groups of between 2-4 at shoot tips, they are thought to resemble lambs tails. If pollination occurs, the female flowers turn dark red and thicken, leading onto small seeds in the autumn.

Common problems with Downy Birch

How to propagate Downy Birch

Seed

Cuttings

Grafting

Special features of Downy Birch

Attractive leaves

Autumn colour

Other uses of Downy Birch

Specimen, found in bog areas and woodland.