- Weeping Birch Trees – Which Variety to Choose?
- Compact Weeping Birch Trees for Small Gardens
- Most Popular Weeping Birch Tree Varieties for Large Gardens
- How To Care for Weeping Birch Trees
- Care Of Weeping Silver Birch: How To Plant A Weeping Silver Birch
- What are Weeping Silver Brich Trees?
- Care of Weeping Silver Birch
- Young’s Weeping Birch
Weeping Birch Trees – Which Variety to Choose?
When it comes to specimen trees, weeping birch trees are one of the most popular choices. With a stunning pendulous habit and showy bark, weeping birch tree varieties make a lovely focus of interest in the garden. Weeping Birch varieties vary in size and the colour of the foliage, which means that there is an ideal match for every landscape.
A mature Betula Pendula tree displays the lovely drooping branches tpyical of weeping birch trees.
Betula Pendula, to give it its full botanical name, is a highly-decorative deciduous tree that can be used to add interest both to large lawns and small gardens. Weeping birch trees have a distinct growth habit, with their branches drooping downwards and heart-shaped to triangular foliage that provides multiple seasons of interest. The light canopy of these trees makes beautiful filtered shade during hot summer days, but maybe it is the wintertime when these trees truly stand out in the landscape: the bare weeping branches and the recognizable bark make a striking scene. All weeping birch varieties have good autumn colour and produce decorative catkins, ensuring that these impressive cultivars offer interests throughout all seasons of the year.
The diamond-shaped foliage of Betula Summer Cascade (pictured here) turns to warm golden hues in autumn
Depending on the available space and the size of your garden, as well as your own preferences, some weeping birch varieties might be more suited for you than others. Take a look at some of the weeping birch trees that we offer for sale, categorised by their size.
Compact Weeping Birch Trees for Small Gardens
If you have limited space in your garden and need an attractive tree that will not overpower other plants in your garden but still attract attention, a weeping birch is an ideal candidate. These weeping birch varieties will not grow over 8 metres in height and circa 3 metres in width, which makes them just the right size for a small garden.
Weeping Silver Burch or Betula Utilis Pendula
This elegant tree is the smallest of all weeping birch tree varieties we have for sale. Approximate size of this petite cultivar is only 3 to 4 metres in height and it can be grown in large containers: its silvery foliage and pendulous habit can be used to add interest to a rooftop garden.
River Birch Summer Cascade
Pictured here is the showy peeling bark of River Birch Summer Cascade variety, ideal for adding texture to a winter garden.
Compact and showy, this cultivar (Latin name Betula Nigra Summer Cascade) loves damp soils and does well near ponds, lakes, or streams. Its hallmark peeling bark provides year-round interest and makes a splendid addition to winter gardens.
Swedish Birch Tree
This weeping birch variety (Latin name Betula Pendula Crispa) is at its best when the deeply lobed foliage turns to vibrant golden-yellow hues in the autumn. As a sure sign of its reliable performance, Swedish Birch received the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
Spider Alley Birch
Maybe the most memorable of all weeping birch tree varieties, this unique tree earned its best known for the gnarled, twisted branches that feather out into a spidery form (hence the name). Expected size for this striking cultivar is 8 metres in height and 2 metres in width. Latin name – Betula Alba Spider Alley.
Left: Spider Alley Birch Right: Silver Birch Fastigiata Joes
Both of these ornamental weeping birch trees are ideal for small gardens.
Silver Birch Fastigiata Joes
With its narrow form (50 centimetres in width), this is one of those weeping birch trees that are suited for large and small spaces alike. Although it can be grown on its own, this stiff upright variety looks absolutely spectacular when planted en masse.
Purple Birch Tree
This one of our showier weeping birch tree varieties, prized for its distinctive purple foliage. With a slow growth rate, this vibrant cultivar will add a bit of colour in a small garden. Latin name – Betula Pendula Purpurea.
Most Popular Weeping Birch Tree Varieties for Large Gardens
Although all weeping birch trees we offer look lovely in large, open spaces, some varieties are more suited for big gardens, mainly due to their own imposing size that ranges from 10 to 30 metres in height. If you are looking for a stately weeping birch to provide architectural value and multiple seasons of interest to your garden, here are some of our top choices.
Young’s Weeping Birch
The mushroom or dome-shaped habit of Betula Pendula Youngii an eye-catching addition for a large lawn.
The umbrella-shaped habit makes this lovely Silver Birch variety stand out, mainly when planted on a spacious lawn. This weeping tree won the RHS Award of Garden Merit, a sure sign of its outstanding qualities.
Silver Birch Tristis
The narrow form of Silver Birch Tristis is what makes this weeping birch tree particularly appealing.
The naturally slender habit makes this variety even more attractive: with an approximate height of 20 metres, this weeping birch has a 4 to 6-metre spread. This cultivar has won the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit. Latin name – Betula Pendula Tristis.
Silver Birch Tree
A UK native, the statuesque Silver Birch is the largest of all weeping birch tree varieties we have for sale. When fully developed, which can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years, this graceful tree will be 30 metres high, with its pendulous branches cascading to create a breathtaking display.
European White Birch
European White Birch or Betula Pendula Fastigiata is an impressive tree with a towering growth habit.
This is another fastigiated cultivar from our collection of weeping birch trees, popular for its narrow, erect habit. Due to its imposing size of 20 metres this cultivar achieves in maturity and its structural form, this elegant tree is often used to add architectural value to large gardens and estates.
How To Care for Weeping Birch Trees
Although each may have their own needs and preferences, Weeping Birch varieties all have very similar requirements when it comes to their care. Naturally occurring in various areas across Europe and Asia (including Siberia), weeping birch trees are fully hardy in the United Kingdom.
Most weeping birch varieties will put up with almost any conditions and manage to thrive in the most unlikely places. Ideally, weeping birch trees should be grown in areas where there is plenty of sunlight and in well-drained but moist soil. In terms of factors such as urban pollution, drought, wet soils, subzero temperatures or strong winds, these ornamental trees tolerate them all: in fact, all Betula Pendula varieties are well known for their exceptional adaptability and versatility.
The ease of care and maintenance makes weeping birches appealing to gardening beginners and seasoned pros alike, but, with their stunning appearance, we think they would be as popular even if they were more complicated to grow.
Do you have more questions? Feel free to contact our team of experts on live chat or send us an email. We are always happy to help you make the right choice!
Care Of Weeping Silver Birch: How To Plant A Weeping Silver Birch
A weeping silver birch is a graceful beauty. Bright white bark and long, downward growing shoots at the ends of the branches create an effect unmatched by other landscape trees. Find out more about this lovely tree and weeping silver birch care in this article.
What are Weeping Silver Brich Trees?
Weeping silver birch (Betula pendula) is a European species that is well suited to North American locations with mild summers and cold winters. It isn’t a low-maintenance tree, but it well worth the time you put into it.
Weeping silver birch growing conditions include full sun and well-drained, moist soil. The soil should never dry out. A thick layer of mulch around the base of the tree will help hold moisture in. Weeping silver birch trees grow best in areas where summer temperatures rarely exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit (25 C.) and where the roots are covered with snow for most of the winter.
Care of Weeping Silver Birch
An important part of the care of weeping silver birch trees is keeping the soil evenly moist. If the soil in the area isn’t naturally moist, install drip irrigation under the mulch.
The tree is susceptible to fungal diseases for which there is no cure, but you may be able to keep them at bay by pruning out diseased twigs and branches. Prune in late winter before the tree breaks dormancy. Pruning cuts bleed an abundance of sap if you wait until spring. Cut back to healthy wood. The cut will stimulate growth from the side shoots and nodes below it, so it’s best to cut just above a node or side shoot.
If the long shoots make landscaping tasks, such as mowing, difficult, you can cut them back to the desired length. Always mow so that any sticks or debris caught by the mower blades will be thrown away from the tree instead of toward it to prevent trunk injuries. Injuries create entry points for insects and disease.
Plant a weeping silver birch in an area where it is in scale with the rest of the landscape and where it has room to spread to its mature size. The tree will grow 40 to 50 feet tall, and will look awkward in a small yard. The canopy will spread 25 to 30 feet, and it should not be crowded by structures or other trees.
Young’s Weeping Birch
How to Grow
The Weeping White Birch is a beautiful specimen that needs to be planted in full sun to light shade. It requires moist, well-drained soil to reach optimum growth potential and to keep it nice and healthy. For the first 3 years or so, apply a medium rate fertilizer in the fall. This once-a-year application supplies your tree with essential nutrients that promote healthy new growth for the following spring season. There are common pest problems with birch trees, and while some improved varieties are more resistant to these pests, the Weeping Birch, unfortunately, is not one of them. The main pest problems with this tree are bronze birch borer and birch leaf miner. Keeping your tree healthy from the start can prevent bronze birch borers. This means planting your tree in the right location, having proper soil drainage, fertilizing, etc. It has been proven that borers are unsuccessful in attacking healthy trees. The birch leaf miner is another pest that if left untreated will cause a good amount of damage to the leaves that will then cause stress to the tree. This stress will make it easier for the bronze birch borer to attack as well. Leaf miners are small sawflies that lay eggs in the new foliage of the birch tree. The young then feed off of the inside of the leaves, leaving “mines” which will be the visual evidence of the problem.
Young’s Weeping Birch
Young’s Weeping Birch
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 12 feet
Spread: 8 feet
Hardiness Zone: 2a
Other Names: Silver Birch, Common Birch
A truly distinctive plant, featuring a contorted, weeping growth habit; not for every landscape or person but putty in the hands of a creative garden designer, a very noticeable plant which can quickly outgrow a garden planting, often used as a solitary
Young’s Weeping Birch has dark green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding yellow in the fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Young’s Weeping Birch is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a rounded form and gracefully weeping branches. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.
This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may ‘bleed’ sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Young’s Weeping Birch is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- General Garden Use
Planting & Growing
Young’s Weeping Birch will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.