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Betula pubescens

downy birch

B. pubescens is a slender deciduous tree with downy shoots bearing ovate or diamond-shaped leaves, yellow autumn colour, and yellow-brown catkins in early spring

Other common names
common white birch
white birch
Synonyms
Betula pubescens var. kusmisscheffii
Betula odorata
see moreBetula × kusmisscheffii
Betula alba

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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Brown White Brown Yellow Green
Summer Brown White Green Brown
Autumn Brown White Yellow
Winter Brown White
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

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

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Betulaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
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
Europe to C Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Suitable as isolated specimen or in small groups. Has attractive peeling bark

Propagation

Propagate by seed, softwood cuttings or grafting

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Wildflower meadow
Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Sawflies, aphids and leaf- mining sawflies may be a problem

Diseases

A rust and a leaf spot may be a problem

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