Name: silver birch (Betula pendula).
Height: eventually 8m+ with age.
Climate: cold temperate, warm temperate.
Soil: prefers deep, well-drained soil.
Position: full sun but will tolerate light shade.
Flowering and fruiting: small cylindrical seed clusters.
Feeding: regular feeding with a balanced, controlled-release fertiliser.
Watering: silver birch requires reliable watering, especially in hot and dry periods.
The silver birch is a deciduous tree with a straight central trunk and thin, weeping and pendulous side branches. The white trunk is a feature year-round, and the small triangular leaves turn a lovely buttery yellow in autumn before dropping.
The graceful habit is one of the reasons the silver birch has been popular in gardens for decades. It is also popular because it is a tree that does not get too big and can fit into just about any garden. You can grow one on its own as a feature, but you can also grow them in a group of three or five to create a lovely grove effect. They can also be used as a screen—just remember that they will have no leaves over the winter months.
Silver birch is a water lover, and you need to guarantee it water in the drier months. In drier parts of the country you might even consider installing a small irrigation system to keep the soil damp.
Silver birch needs no real pruning, except to ensure it has a straight main trunk, and this is usually not necessary as the nursery has done it for you. If it is in a narrow spot, you might want to remove the lower branches for ease of access or weeding under.
Another reason the silver birch is popular is that it rarely suffers from diseases or pests. Check your tree every now and then and address any problems if they arise.
Magnolia: deciduous tree with showy lilac, purple or white flowers in spring.
Crepe myrtle: small tree with smooth bark, good autumn colour and flowers in late summer.
Pittosporum: narrow, upright growing evergreen shrub ideal for screening.
Japanese maple: spectacular autumn colours on a small but broad deciduous tree.
Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing.
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