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Betula pendula
Betula pendula

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Zone
Zones 3-11, 14-17, 31-34, 39
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Betula utilis jacquemontii

Betulaceae
Deciduous, Trees

BETULA

The white-barked European white birch—the tree that comes to mind when most people think of birches—has many relatives that resemble it in graceful habit, thin bark peeling in layers, and smallish, fine-toothed leaves that turn from green to glowing yellow in fall. After leaf drop, the delicate limb structure, handsome bark, and small conelike fruits provide a winter display.

All birches need a regular supply of moisture and nutrients; they are generally too greedy for lawns. Nor should they be planted on a patio or where cars will be parked beneath them, since they are all susceptible to aphids that drip honeydew. Bronze birch borer can be a problem in the northern Rocky Mountain states; leaf miners in the Pacific Northwest. Pruned established trees just to remove weak, damaged, or dead growth. To minimize sap bleed, prune in summer or early fall in mild-winter areas; where temperatures remain below freezing, wait until the end of January.

Betula utilis jacquemontii

Native to northern India. Tall, narrow tree with brilliant white bark. Grows about 2 ft. a year to 40 ft., then more slowly to an eventual 60 ft. tall, 30 ft. wide. Seedlings vary in bark color from white to pinkish tan; for guaranteed white bark, look for grafted trees. Some borer resistance.

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