Silver Birch, Betula pendula, is a widespread, fast growing, native tree with pretty white bark and an airy canopy that casts light, dappled shade. It likes sunny sites, and will thrive on pretty much any soil except solid chalk. Silver Birch is not suitable as a hedging plant although it can be used as a screening tree up to about 25 metres high when its fine branches and sparse foliage blur rather than obliterate whatever it is you are trying to hide.
The plants on this page are young saplings. You can also buy larger Silver Birch trees here and you can browse all of our other varieties of Birch trees for sale or see our full range of hedging options.
Silver Birch plants are only delivered bareroot, during winter (Nov-March).
Choosing a size: When you are ordering a large quantity of Silver Birch for a big project, we suggest that you buy the smaller plants, graded at 40/60cms or 60/80cms. They are cheaper than large plants, easier to handle and more likely to cope well with poor conditions. Use the larger sizes for instant impact in a garden.
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 pendula plants:
Common Names: Silver Birch, Lady of the Woods
The pale, creamy-white bark of this elegant tree is its best feature, providing year-round interest. It has little diamond shaped, mid-green leaves with serrated edges, dangling in fluttering streamers of thin, hanging side-branches. These turn yellow in autumn, which looks fantastic next to the white bark with the sun shining through it all.
History & uses of Betula pendula
Silver birch was a very useful tree in the past. Its bark was used for covering boats, canoes or for making the roof of a hut. A skilled worker could remove the outermost layer of bark without killing the tree: if you want to try your hand at this, late spring is the best time. An unpleasant tasting but effectively alcoholic mead can be made from Silver Birch sap, which tastes like sugary water in spring. Its resin was boiled down to make a decent glue.
Today, it is sometimes used as a coppice tree for firewood, harvested every 3/4 years. It is one of the easiest firewoods, burning bright and hot even before it is fully dried. Artist grade charcoal is made from the bark.