Purchase & plant cell grown plants all year round Pre-order bare root plants & save 15%

Viewing:
Homepage
Trees
Silver Birch - Betula pendula

Silver Birch - Betula pendula

15% OFF: Pre-order your bare root plants & save 15%.From £1.78was £2.10£2.14 Inc VAT
Offer ends in 42 days Buy & plant cell grown plants now. Pre-order bare root plants for mid-November delivery.
 Acidic, Sandy, Peaty Acidic, Sandy, Peaty
 Alkaline, Chalky, Calcareous Alkaline, Chalky, Calcareous
 Light Sand Light Sand
 Neutral Neutral
Growth Rate: Quick Growth Rate: Quick
Height: Medium Height: Medium
Horse-Friendly Horse-Friendly
Native Native
RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM)
Use: Farm Woodland Use: Farm Woodland
Use: Firewood Use: Firewood
Use: Shelterbelt Use: Shelterbelt

Characteristics
Plant Protection
Planting & Care
Long Description 5
Images (6)
Questions (4)
Reviews
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Bareroot Availability       U   N A   V A   I L   A B   L E    
Cell Grown Availability                          

RHS Award of Garden Merit

Possibly the most graceful and elegant British native tree, sometimes called 'The Lady of the Woods'. Fast-growing, the Silver Birch has a light canopy, which casts dappled shade allowing other plants to grow beneath it, pendulous branches and golden yellow autumn leaf colour. The peeling white bark and delicate tracery of branches make this tree attractive even in the depths of winter; a mature tree covered in hoar frost is a memorable sight.

Site and soil

The Silver Birch prefers light, free-draining sandy soils, including acid sands, but should do well on all but the heaviest of ground. It copes well with exposed situations and high elevations.

Height and spread

Below are the approximate stages of growth, assuming sited in suitable conditions for this species;

After 10 years: 8m x 3m
After 20 years: 18m x 4m

Leaf and bark

Diamond-shaped, sharply toothed leaves open palest green, darkening to mid-green by midsummer, then turning golden yellow before leaf fall in autumn. The bark is white with horizontal lines and dark diamond-shaped cracks. The white bark peels to reveal pale orange young bark beneath.

Flower, seed and fruit

The yellow-brown catkins open in March-April, the males about double the length of the female at 3cm. The female catkins disintegrate on fruiting and the tiny seeds are dispersed by the wind.

Uses

Specimen tree, woodland, shelter belt for younger, slower-growing trees. The wood is used for plywood and furniture making, and for handles for tools and brushes. The bark is used for roofing in Scandinavia, and an oil from the bark is used in the preparation of leather; it has insect repellent properties. Charcoal from the wood was once used in the manufacture of gunpowder, and the twigs form the brushwood fencing on racecourses and besoms. Birch has several medicinal uses and is currently being researched for its effectiveness in treating certain cancers and HIV.

Wildlife

The Silver Birch is an ecologically important species. Its light canopy allows a wide range of plants to flourish beneath it on the woodland floor, attracting many birds, insects and small mammals. It is an important pioneer species, rapidly colonising suitable open ground. It forms effective shelter for slower-growing trees like oak and beech.

The main reasons for buying protection is to protect the plants against:

  • Pests
  • Spraying
  • Strimming

Pests

When it comes to deciding what protection to choose the golen rule of thumb is to choose the product dependent on which pest you are protecting against. The below will help you in deciding what height of protection you will need.

Vole Rabbit Hare Roe Deer/Muntjac Fallow Deer
Vole, Mice
20cm
Rabbit
60cm
Hare
75cm
Roe Deer/Muntjac
1.20m
Fallow Deer
1.50m

 Download our full protection range as a printable PDF document.

Protection Options

Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Vole
Vole, Mice
20cm
Vole Guard
20cm
None required
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Rabbit
Rabbit
60cm
Spiral Guard
60cm x 38mm, 60cm x 50mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14-16lbs
Tubex Easywrap
60cm x 50-65mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14-16lbs
Mesh Guard with Spray Shield
60cm x 130mm
2 x Bamboo Canes
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14-16lbs
Tubex Fruitwrap
60cm x 65-80mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14-16lbs
Tubex Ecostart
60cm x 57-73cm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Tree Shelter
60cm x 73-105mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube
60cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube
60cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Shrub Shelter
60cm x 130-160mm, 60cm x 144-200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Shrub Shelterguard Mesh Tube
60cm x 130-160mm, 60cm x 170-200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube for Shrubs
60cm x 130-160mm, 60cm x 170-200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Hare
Hare
75cm
Tubex Easywrap
75cm x 50-65mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs, 14-16lbs or 1.20m x 20-22lbs
Spiral Guard
75cm x 50mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs, 14-16lbs or 1.20m x 20-22lbs
Tubex Fruitwrap
75cm x 65-80mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs, 14-16lbs or 1.20m x 20-22lbs
Tubex Ecostart
75cm x 57-73mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Tree Shelter
75cm x 73-105mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Combitube
75cm x 73-105mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube
90cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube
75cm x 80-110mm, 90cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Shrub Shelter
75cm x 130-160mm, 75cm x 144-200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Roe Deer/Muntjac
Roe Deer/Muntjac
1.20m
Tubex Tree Shelter
1.20m x 73-105mm, 1.20m x 80-120mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Tubex Combitube
1.20m x 73-105mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube
1.20m x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube
1.20m x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Galvanised Mesh Tree Guard
1.20m x 300mm
Machine Rounded Tree Stake
1.20m x 50mm, 1.50m x 50mm
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Fallow DeerFallow Deer
1.50m
Tubex Tree Shelter
1.50m x 80-120mm, 1.80m x 80-120mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Tubex Combitube
1.50m x 80-120mm, 1.80m x 80-120mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube
1.50m x 80-110mm, 1.80m x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube
1.50m x 80-110mm, 1.80m x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Galvanised Mesh Tree Guard
1.80m x 300mm, 1.80m x 600mm
Machine Rounded Tree Stake
1.80m x 60mm

Spraying

Tubex tree shelters offer the benefit of not only protecting against animal damage, they also ensure that herbicides do not come into contact with the plants during spraying.

The main reason for spraying is weed control, however, there are other options available to suppress weeds. Our accessories section includes weed control matting, fertilisers & wildflower seed.

Strimming

Young plants should be protected from damage caused when strimming. To protect plants solely for strimming, our strimmer guards are the ideal product.

Planting

Follow this link to our 'Planting Advice' page for more detailed information on how to plant your plants.

Rootgrow

We would often advise that you consider using 'Rootgrow' for your bare root plants. Rootgrow simply speeds up an existing natural process. The fungi contained in Rootgrow will begin to colonise the plant or tree roots, extending the root system into the surrounding soil via an extensive network of fungal filaments. 

The benefit of Rootgrowis that it enhances a plants root system so a newly planted plant:

  • Finds more food, finds more water.

  • Needs less fertiliser.

  • Establishes quicker and reduces failure rates (which can be improved even further when used in conjunction with Broadleaf P4)

  • Has increased tolerance to drought and difficult soil conditions

We also have a handy Welfare Guide that includes information on how to check your plants on arrival, how to plant them and also how to look after them. This is sent out with each delivery of bare root plants, but it can be downloaded from our advice pages.

Aftercare

Silver Birch is not normally pruned.

Readily available advice

For additional information on planting and maintaining your plants, please see our advice pages.

We provide extensive articles, tips, and even tutorial videos, ideal for beginners and those with previous planting experience.

0 stars (0 review)

Share your thoughts with other customers… write your own review

Hi I am planning on using Silver Birch, Lime (Tilia platyphyllos), White Poplar and Common Willow to create a coppice for shade and shelter for my horses (eventually) I would also like to use a mixture of these trees to line our track system again for the horses - can you advise on the planting distance for the coppice so that when they are fully grown they have enough space.

Good morning,

Many thanks for your question.

We would recommend planting at 2-3m spacings on a grid formation for the coppice.

This will give sufficient room for the 1st 5-10 years of growth, and then after the thinning out process is complete the increase in space will promote further growth. 

Kind regards,

The Trees and Hedging Team. 

Would like to plant in a row along lowish wall. How far part should one plant. I also aim to keep them no higher than 5 or 6 metre. Thanks.

Thank you very much for your question.

It would really depend on what you are trying to achieve. Are you looking for thick screening or a more sporadic planting scheme? Our general planting guidance is 3+ metres apart, but we strongly suggest that you seek your advice from a local expert who can visit your site and is then able to be more specific in the guidance provided.

Hope that helps you, regards the Trees and Hedging Team 

What is the root depth/spread? Would like to plant in 30ft garden.

Thank you for your question. 

The root depth/spread can depend on the soil type, however from the measurement you have provided we feel that it would be ok to plant a Silver Birch in your garden, but recommend that you leave a minimum of 5 metres (15 feet)  gap away from any buildings, further away if possible, to avoid the risk of roots having any impact on building foundations.

Hope that helps. Best Wishes from the Trees and Hedging Team

We have just had nine mature native silver birches transplanted to our garden by a professional company to provide light screening. They are planted in a row against the wall which although not ideal, is allowing us to create a rather long (50m/150ft) if narrow (1.5m/5ft) understory of shrubs.Which native shrubs would usually be found under birches in their natural habitat, and what would be an ideal mix to create a bird friendly space. We are on London clay, but local silver birches do not seem to mind it at all. Thank you.

Thank you for your question.

We would recommend Boxleaf Honeysuckle, Cotoneaster franchetii, Laurel and Snowberry.

Hope this helps.

Trees and Hedging Team

Ask a question about this product