A widely grown ornamental tree, the Silver Birch is Betula pendula is a medium sized Silver Birch reaching a height of around 8 – 12m. In cool to temperate climates this is one of the most widely grown species in Australia.
With a fairly upright growth habit it is the drooping nature of the tips of the branches that give it the name. The white trunks become more pronounced with age, in fact younger trees tend to have grey trunks.
Used in the garden as a feature tree for its attractive white trunk and good green glossy foliage that puts on a subdued show of yellow in autumn.
Also planted in avenues along driveways to create a cool shaded entrance. Excellent planted in groups in larger gardens.
- Height – Will reach 8 – 10 metres depending on soil and climate.
- Spread – To around 6 metres across the crown on a mature specimen.
- Growth rate – Moderate
- Folaige – Mid to bright green with golden yellow autumn tones.
- Flowers – Long catkins in spring.
- Position – Full sun to afternoon shade in warmer areas.
- Soil – Humus rich moist and well drained.
- Pruning – Gemerally only remedial pruning of dead and damaged wood is required. Best pruned from spring to summer.
Betula pendula varieties
- Betula pendula ‘Dalecarlica’
This is a ‘cut leaf’ variety with almost feathery foliage, same pendulus foliage
- Betula pendula fastigiata
A more upright form with branches held more tightly to the trunk, suited to narrow spaces
- Betula Pendula Purpurea
This is the ‘Purple Leafed Birch’, trademark purple foliage.
- Betula pendula ‘Youngii’
This is Young’s weeping Birch, excellent weeping foliage and a wonderful feature tree for any garden. (pictured above right)
- Betula pendula ‘Moss White‘
A clearer white trunk than other forms
Best suited to the cool to temperate regions of Australia Betula pendula grows well in a humus rich deep soil. Good drainage is essential, however long dry periods during summer will require watering.
Fertilize with a slow release fertilizer in early spring and again in early summer. Water well before fertilizing and again after.
Pruning is generally not required except for the removal of dead or damaged wood. Best carried out in autumn as this prevents pruning wounds from weeping and helps prevent disease
Generally available as seedling trees through to larger specimens at 3 – 5m.
Betula pendula is available for sale from the following participating suppliers
55 McDougal Rd Neerim South Victoria 3831 PH: (03) 56281507
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