Downy Birch Sapling Trees

General Info Wildlife Value
Shade Partial Shade
Area Exposed Windy Areas, Frost Pockets, Scotland & The North
Soil Good, Well Drained, Acidic, Poor/Dry, Wet
Type Native, Screening
Ornamental Autumn Colour
  Buy 11 or more bareroot plants and save

SIZES 1-10 11-5051-250251-10001001+
60/80 cm Bareroot Out of Stock £2.52Out of Stock£2.02Out of Stock£1.76Out of Stock£1.63Out of Stock£1.51
  Prices include VAT(where applicable)



Birch, Downy needs...
  • Ashridge Trees Guard. 60cm and 120cms. Stake not included

    Tree Guard, Ashridge

    From £1.98

  • Softwood Stakes

    Stakes, Softwood for Tree Guards

    From £2.64

  • Rootgrow Root Stimulant


    From £6.00

Betula pubescens: Downy / Common White Birch, Sapling Trees

The Downy, Hairy or Common White Birch is an upright native tree with pale grey mature bark. It grows in any soil apart from chalk and especially likes damp sites. It has good autumn colour and its leaves support several species of butterfly caterpillar.

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.

Betula pubescens is very fast-growing and makes a good screening tree up to about 20 metres.
Browse all of our Birch tree varieties.


  • Only sold as young sapling trees
  • Native. Upright habit
  • Pale grey bark, warm yellow autumn colour
  • Loves damp sites, prefers acidic soil
  • Wind resistant, but not suitable for the coast
  • Not suitable for hedging
  • Bareroot delivery only: Nov-March
  • To 20 metres

Growing Downy Birch

It will grow on any soil that is not dry, but it really loves neutral to acidic conditions close to water, and it will probably struggle on shallow chalk, which tends to be pretty dry. It is very wind resistant, but not suitable for the coast.

Did You Know?

In the past, birchbark 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 and buckets to roofs and hats. Birch was associated with fertility, and bundles of birch twigs were preferred in Medieval times to flog criminals. You will find birch twigs in a properly traditional Swedish sauna to lightly whip your back with, which is supposed to enhance your detox. Birchwood isn't that commercially valuable these days; it is mostly used for paper pulp and disposable things like toothpicks and matches. It burns well, if a little quickly.

Standard trees are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level: their trunk's waist measurement. Unlike sapling trees and hedge plants, standards aren't measured by their height, which will vary quite a bit both between and within species.
So, a 6/8cm standard tree has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8cm and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10cm around. This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height.
On average, standard trees are 2-3.5 metres tall when they arrive, but we cannot tell you precisely how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.

  • Small Box

    Small boxes

    (Orders containing seedlings or rooted cuttings)


    including VAT per order

  • Small box

    (All barerooted plants under 1.2 metres in height. Please note: all trees are charged at the trees and hedging rate.)


    including VAT per order

  • Medium box

    (Any pots up to
    and incl. 7.5L)


    including VAT per order

  • Trees & Hedging

    (For all orders of trees of any size, and all bareroot plants 1.2 metres and over in height)


    including VAT per order

  • Pallets

    (For all orders of root balls,
    and large orders, a pallet
    price will be automatically
    applied at checkout)


    including VAT per order

*Delivery to mainland Britain & the Isle of Wight ONLY. Surcharges to the Isle of Wight and some areas of Scotland apply.

Bareroot planting is best done between November and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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