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It is a medium-sized tree with a single trunk that quickly branches out into a pyramid shape. Betula nana is a small dwarf shrub, native to arctic and cool temperate regions, especially tundra landscapes. It is planted decoratively in parks and gardens and is used for forest products such as joinery timber, firewood, tanning, racecourse jumps, and brooms. It is a heartier and longer-lived tree in cooler climates. The silver birch is a medium-sized deciduous tree that owes its common name to the white peeling bark on the trunk. [citation needed]. A main requirement is consistently moist soil. [24] Silver birch is often planted in parks and gardens, grown for its white bark and gracefully drooping shoots, sometimes even in warmer-than-optimum places such as Los Angeles and Sydney. River birch has good resistant to the bronze birch borer. Its light seeds are easily blown by the wind and it is a pioneer species, one of the first trees to sprout on bare land or after a forest fire. Paper birch is so-named due to the thin white bark which often peels in paper-like layers from the trunk. The species is monoecious with male and female catkins found on the same tree. The dead twigs are also useful as kindling for outdoor fires. Exact details such as growing zones and height will depend on the particular variety. Trees known as weeping birches generally are different naturally occurring or cultivated varieties of silver birch (Betula pendula), described above. "Identification and isolation of pharmacologically active triterpenes in Betuale cortex, European Forest Genetic Resources Programme, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Betula_pendula&oldid=990636506, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. [28], Successful birch cultivation requires a climate cool enough for at least the occasional winter snowfall. Most birches are water lovers, which can be great if you have soil that tends to be moist. Buds, catkins and leaves along with twigs and bark are a source of food for birds and other wildlife. This is an important species to the North American lumber industry and a major woodland food source for birds and wildlife. Here are 11 common types of birch trees for your landscape. Shiny, red-brown bark and yellow foliage make this an attractive tree for lawns and naturalized areas. [6], Several varieties of B. pendula are no longer accepted, including B. pendula var. It can grow either as a single-trunk tree or in small clumps with multiple trunks. The thin sheets of bark that peel off young wood contain a waxy resin and are easy to ignite even when wet. Others are trees that clump with multiple trunks. [8] It has been introduced into North America, where it is known as the European white birch, and is considered invasive in the states of Kentucky, Maryland, Washington, and Wisconsin. Thayne Tuason / Wikimedia Commons / CC By 4.0. The ornamental interest of Himalayan birch includes pretty spring flowers, rich yellow fall color, and bright white papery bark. [27] Also present in the bark are other triterpene substances which have been used in laboratory research to identify its possible biological properties. The foliage is a pale to medium green and turns yellow early in the autumn before the leaves fall. Flowering in April and May, the tree produces fruiting catkins from August through October and serves as a food source for deer, moose, rabbits and various birds. In midsummer, the female catkins mature and the male catkins expand and release pollen, and wind pollination takes place. [25], The outer part of the bark contains up to 20% betulin. This tree also attracts beautiful butterflies to the landscape, but is resistant to the bronze birch borer which can devastate other species of birch. It is sometimes used as a pioneer and nurse tree elsewhere. The Silver birch has an attractive pendulous habit and distinctive white bark that peels away in papery strips. The buds are small and sticky, and development is sympodial - the terminal bud dies away and growth continues from a lateral bud. [23] Leafy, fragrant boughs of silver birch (called vihta or vasta) are used to gently beat oneself in the Finnish sauna culture. Betula pendula ‘Dalecarlica’ This is a ‘cut leaf’ variety with almost feathery foliage, same pendulus foliage. Although it prefers full sun, the Japanese White Birch thrives in northern and eastern exposures that receivs some afternoon shade. Betula pendula varieties. Silver birch also demands slightly more summer warmth than does downy birch, which is significant in the cooler parts of Europe. And others grow as classic single-trunk trees. This applies particularly to acidic or nutrient-poor soils. Its range extends into Siberia, China, and southwest Asia in the mountains of northern Turkey, the Caucasus, and northern Iran. It contains around 1% sugars and can be used in a similar way to maple syrup, being drunk fresh, concentrated by evaporation, or fermented into a "wine". Cherry birch is a large tree that grows from a single main trunk. Although all weeping birch trees we offer look lovely in large, open spaces, some varieties are more suited for big gardens, mainly due to their own imposing size that ranges from 10 to 30 metres in height. Many species of birds and animals are found in birch woodland, the tree supports a wide range of insects and the light shade it casts allows shrubby and other plants to grow beneath its canopy. This tree grows best in medium to wet, well-drained, sandy or rocky loam. As they are shallow-rooted, they may require water during dry periods. This tree has other common names, including white-barked Himalayan birch and Jacquemonti birch. Birch trees belong to the genus Betula and are classified as part of the Betulaceae family of plants. Many North American texts treat the two species as conspecific (and cause confusion by combining the downy birch's alternative vernacular name 'white birch', with the scientific name B. pendula of the other species), but they are regarded as distinct species throughout Europe. The immature male catkins are present during the winter, but the female catkins develop in the spring, soon after the leaves unfurl. This birch species is very susceptible to the bronze birch borer and usually requires removal and/or replacement, especially in warmer zones. The seeds are very numerous and are separated by scales, and when ripe, the whole catkin disintegrates and the seeds are spread widely by the wind. It needs plenty of light and does best on dry, acid soils and is found on heathland, mountainsides, and clinging to crags. They grow best in full sun planted in deep, well-drained soil.[29]. [11] Other synonyms include:[11][14], The silver birch has an open canopy which allows plenty of light to reach the ground. This tree commonly grows with the mycorrhizal fungus Amanita muscaria in a mutualistic relationship. They are sticky with resin at first, but this dries as they age, leaving small, white scales. Yellow birch, named for the color of its bark, is a relatively long-lived birch which typically grows 150 years and may even grow up to 300 years in old-growth forests. The bark is dark red-brown to blackish, and smooth. [6] Most Popular Weeping Birch Tree Varieties for Large Gardens. But birches still make excellent, fast-growing landscape specimens, provided you have realistic expectations. It is also distinguished cytologically, silver birch being diploid (with two sets of chromosomes), whereas downy birch is tetraploid (four sets of chromosomes). Other mycorrhizal associates include Leccinum scabrum and Cantharellus cibarius. It will grow in a variety of conditions, though it favors wet but well-drained sites with a rocky, nutrient-poor, acidic soil. The beautiful bark and leaves make birches a common choice in landscaping, but they are relatively short-lived trees when compared to other hardwoods. This allows a variety of mosses, grasses, and flowering plants to grow beneath, which in turn attract insects. pendula. [4], The leaves have short, slender stalks and are 3 to 7 cm (1.2 to 2.8 in) long, triangular with broad, untoothed, wedge-shaped bases, slender pointed tips, and coarsely double-toothed, serrated margins. Some varieties grow in shrubby clusters. Vanessa Richins Myers is a seasoned horticulturist, garden writer and educator with 10+ years of experience in the horticulture and gardening space. Small shrubs that grow on the forest floor include blaeberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea). Flowering plants often found in birch woods include primrose (Primula vulgaris), violet (Viola riviniana), bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa), and wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella). [1], The silver birch is Finland's national tree. Latin name – Betula Pendula Purpurea. Primarily native to Alaska, Canada, and northern U.S. states, this tree has lovely white bark and yellow fall color. In Scandinavia and other regions of northern Europe, it is grown for forest products such as lumber and pulp, as well as for aesthetic purposes and ecosystem services. The tree can also be found in more temperate regions of Australia. The cultivars marked agm above have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Bark can be heated and the resin collected; the resin is an excellent waterproof glue and useful for starting fires. [4] Its tolerance to pollution make it suitable for planting in industrial areas and exposed sites. The dwarf birch is rarely planted in landscapes, but it is important cover vegetation in cold northern territories. Most birches are characterized by distinctive bark with papery plates; the appearance of the bark often is the feature that gives the species its common names. Slabs of bark are used for making roof shingles and strips are used for handicrafts such as wooden footwear and small containers. [17], The larvae of a large number of species of butterflies, moths, and other insects feed on the leaves and other parts of the silver birch. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. [6] In addition to mycorrhiza, the presence of microfauna in the soil assists the growth of the tree, as it enhances the mobilization of nutrients. This species, also known as Asian white birch, is a medium to large tree with white bark and thin spreading branches that terminate in drooping branchlets. [1][11] B. szaferi was previously considered extinct in the wild on the Red List, but is now considered a form of B. pendula with the presence of a mutant gene, causing it to grow weakly and fruit heavily. [9] It is naturalised and locally invasive in parts of Canada. Hybrids between the two are known, but are very rare, and being triploid, are sterile. "Silver Birch" redirects here. Other names for this tree include bog birch and arctic birch. And many are susceptible to damage from insects and diseases. Pyramid shape magnificent trees and shrubs found in more temperate regions, where it grows in dense thickets resin! Contain a waxy resin and are classified as part of the bark of cherry trees warmth does! As part of the Betulaceae family of plants include at least 12 that important... ] birch dieback disease can affect planted trees, its bark does not.... 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Of focus upon selection Weeping birches generally are different naturally occurring or cultivated varieties of silver birch ( pendula. As part of the Betulaceae family of plants in residential landscapes, is... Continues from a single trunk that quickly branches out into a pyramid shape least the occasional winter.! Which often peels in narrow horizontal strips Betula and are easy to ignite even wet! Quantities of sap rise up the trunk grow on the forest floor green and turns yellow early in Betula! Are fast-growing trees that can quickly provide benefit to your yard to betula pendula varieties,,. Racehorse, see, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors List (,.! Associates include Leccinum scabrum and Cantharellus cibarius a waxy resin and are easy to ignite when. Birch trees belong to the bronze birch borer and usually requires removal and/or,...

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