Common Silver Birch
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)
30 years to reach maturity
This plant has no fragrance
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.
Betula pendula can be grown from softwood cuttings taken from the stem tips between late spring and early summer.
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.
Flowers are in the form of cream-green catkins that hang off the branches.