Autumn Colour Birch Trees Screening Native Acidic Soil
Wet Soil Exposed Windy Areas Partial Shade Wildlife Value
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The Downy Birch or Common White Birch, Betula pubescens, is an upright native tree with pale grey mature bark. It grows in any soil apart from chalk; it especially likes damp sites. It has good autumn colour and its leaves support several species of butterfly caterpillar.
Common White Birch is not suitable for a clipped hedge. It can be grown as a screening tree up to about 20 metres high.
Browse all of our other varieties of Birch trees for sale.
Common White Birch plants are only delivered bareroot, during winter (Nov-March).
Choosing a size: When you are ordering a large quantity of Common White Birch for a big planting project, we suggest that you buy the smaller 40/60cms high plants. They are cheaper than larger plants, easier to handle and more likely to cope well with poor conditions. All of our young trees and shrubs are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
General description of Betula pubescens plants:
Common Names: Common / European White Birch, Downy Birch, Hairy Birch
This tree is very similar to Silver Birch. The most obvious difference is that the young twigs of White Birch have downy hairs on them and feel smooth to the touch. The tree's canopy is also more upright and narrow than silver birch.
History & uses of Betula pubescens
In the past, birch bark was very valuable because it is oily, waterproof and flexible when heated. It was used to make all sorts of items related to water, from boats to buckets to roofs to hats. Birch was associated with fertility and bundles of birch twigs were used in Medieval times to flog criminals. You might find birch twigs in a traditional Swedish sauna to lightly whip your back with, which is supposed to enhance your detox.
Birch wood isn't very commercially valuable these days; it is mostly used for paper pulp and disposable things like toothpicks. It burns well, if a little quickly.
Bonemeal is an organic, slow release fertiliser with some Nitrogen and a good supply of Phosporous & Calcium. Pack sizes 1.25Kg & 5Kg
Rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi speeds establishment. Available as: