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Betula pendula

Posted on 5 October, 2015 at 6:58
Autumn is the best time of year to plant trees/shrubs.  We can plant trees/shrubs and keep them healthy with our professional knowledge.

Betula pendula


These trees tolerate pollution so they are suitable for industrialised sites.  The silvery white trunks of these trees provide interest in gardens, parklands and areas of woodland situated throughout the UK. 

These trees are ideal for wildlife gardens because they support many animals.  They support over 3000 insect species.  These insects are preyed upon by a wide range of garden birds.  Birds also consume the seeds that the silver birch produces. 

These trees only require occasional pruning so they are a good choice for those who want a low maintenance garden.   

Possible Nuisance

These trees should be located with care to ensure they do not interfere with overhead and underground services.  These trees should be positioned sensibly and growth should be kept in check so they do not become an issue for those using highways.  In addition care needs to be taken to ensure that branches do not overhang public walkways as leaves could potentially cause accidents.  A significant number of leaves fall from these trees during the autumn so we must ensure nearby walkways are free of leaves. 

Growing Conditions

These trees prefer acidic soils however they will grow in soils that are alkaline or neutral.  These plants grow well in well-drained soil or well-drained but moist soil.  Silver birch trees grow well in chalky, clayey, sandy and loamy soils.  These plants grow well in full sun or partial shade. 


Betula pendula should be pruned in early spring.  Dead wood should be removed.  Diseased, damaged, crossing or congested branches should be removed.  During the first two years of life these plants need to be watered during periods of drought in late spring and summer.  Betula pendula have shallow root systems so mature plants will need watering during droughts. 

For the first two or three years of life it is appropriate to add a general fertilizer to the soil around these trees.  Such fertilizer should be applied in late winter.  Those trees that are newly-transplanted have not had time to develop extensive root systems so a slow release fertilizer should be incorporated into surrounding soil.  Once established the root systems should gain sufficient nutrients from surrounding soil.  The area around plants should be kept clear of weeds whilst these trees are getting established.  Weeds can be controlled by manual weeding or by applying a mulch. 

It is advisable to apply a mulch to the area around young or newly-planted trees.  A mulch has several functions.  A mulch conserves moisture in the soil that surrounds plants, hence making them better able to cope with periods of dry weather.  A mulch suppresses weeds.  In addition when biodegradable mulches break down plant foods are created and soil condition is improved.  When young these trees may require supporting to prevent windrock. 

Sawflies may affect these trees.  The larvae of the sawfly can be removed by hand. 
Rust may affect these trees.  If it does diseased leaves should be picked off and burnt. 

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