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Betula pendula

silver birch

Elegant, narrowly conical, deciduous tree up to 25m in height, with slender drooping twigs. Peeling white bark, becomes black and rugged at the base. Diamond-shaped, toothed, mid-green leaves, turn yellow in autumn. Flowers in catkins are yellow-brown and appear in early spring

Other common names
bed wen
birk tree
see morecommon birch
European white birch
lady birch
lady of the woods
warty birch
weeping birch
Synonyms
Betula alba
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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Brown Green
Summer White Green Brown
Autumn White Yellow
Winter White
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Betulaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Pendulous weeping
Genus

Betula can be deciduous trees or shrubs, usually colouring well in autumn and often with striking white, pink, or peeling brown bark; separate male and female catkins open before or with the leaves in spring

Name status

Correct

Plant range
W Eurasia

How to grow

Cultivation

Will grow in a wide range of situations. Effective when planted in small groups or as a multi-stemmed specimen

Propagation

Propagate by seed, softwood cuttings or grafting

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

May be susceptible to birch borers, leaf-mining sawflies and aphids

Diseases

May be susceptible to honey fungus, a tree rust and powdery mildews

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