Birch: These are medium to large sized trees characterized by fine foliage and white peeling bark with black horizontal lenticels. They are generally tolerant of moist soil conditions and often lack of adequate water is their main enemy. An excellent contrast specimen tree in the right location.
There are two varieties of note:
Paper Birch: (Betula papyrifera)
Cutleaf Weeping Birch: (Betula pendula ‘Gracilis’)
Size and Characteristics: Paper Birch mature at 6m (20’) wide by 12m (40’) tall. Cutleaf Weeping Birch mature at 8m (26’) wide by 15m (50’) tall. They both have fine green foliage with yellow fall color and the unique white bark with black lenticels for accent. The main difference is Cutleaf Weeping Birch has a more deeply ‘cut’ or jagged leaf and they have a weeping form with the branches almost reaching the ground at the dripline depending on how it is pruned. Paper Birch is sometimes available in a multi-stemmed form.
Pest and Diseases: Birch leaf miner and Bronze Birch borer will tend to have an adverse affect on a weak tree. Properly sited and well watered most healthy birches can withstand these attacks.
© Clayton Ditzler