The Silver Birch (Betula Pendula) is a large narrowly conical shaped native deciduous tree with peeling silvery white bark found as with many other types of Birch in vast numbers particularly in the forests and on the mountains of Scotland. The diamond shaped mid green serrated leaves of the Silver Birch turn a particularly attractive yellow in autumn but it is the distinctive colour of the bark and the noticeable drooping habit of its branches that make the Silver Birch tree so easily identifiable.
Silver Birch trees produce yellow/brown catkins in spring which make an additional decoration to this already very pretty tree. Although the Silver Birch looks to be a light and delicate tree it is actually very hardy, and makes a stunning ornamental focal point in any garden and a haven for a host of insects and wildlife. The Silver Birch twigs or young branches were tied together in bundles and used for ‘Birching’ a popular method of punishment which was only stopped in comparatively recent times. The most frequent commercial uses for the timber of Betula Pendula are in the making of tool handles, the backs of brushes and wooden floors. The twigs are used for the making of fire fighting brooms seen in forests and in saunas as a muscle relaxant. The Silver Birch tree grows at approximately30-45cm (1-1.5ft) per year to an ultimate height of approximately 18-25 metres (60-80ft). If you want to trim or prune, then any time from late summer, through autumn and into winter is suitable.
The Silver Birch tree has been given the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society. Birch trees on this page are suitable for general planting in any reasonable soil but will thrive in moist conditions. If you have a rabbit problem we strongly recommend protecting newly planted Silver Birch with spiral tree guards. We will supply full cultural instructions with your order. We strongly recommend Rootgrow and Bonemeal to help establish newly planted Silver Birch trees, these may be found on the left hand menu.