Fantastic Design Plant: Paper Birch

Dec - 30

Fantastic Design Plant: Paper Birch

Winter evaluations a plant’s all-around beauty. It is a tough test for the showiest of deciduous trees, but the paper birch shines year-round. Its paper-like white bark stands out from the rest of the trees, while it’s surrounded by other naked trees or has a background of evergreens. The birch also stands out from the autumn, with its beautiful white bark popping contrary to the yellows, reds and oranges of northern North America’s fall leaves, and of course its very own golden yellow autumn color.

Marie Meko, Allied ASID

Botanical name: Betula papyrifera
Common titles: Paper Birch, White Birch, Canoe Birch
USDA zones: 2 to 6 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Continuous moisture
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 50 to 75 feet tall and 35 to 50 feet broad
Benefits and tolerances: This really is a solid tree which stands up to snow and ice, in addition to salt. It’s tolerant of various kinds of dirt, even nutrient-poor lands, but you’ll have the best luck with moist, well-drained, loose dirt.
Seasonal interest: This really is one of best deciduous trees to plant for winter attention; the papery white bark stands out. It also contrasts with bright autumn leaves. Its own leaves turn golden yellow in the autumn.
When to plant: Following the last frost in springtime or in the autumn

Christopher Associates & Lines

Distinguishing attributes. Birch’s white, peeling bark contrasts the leaves and bark of different trees. It becomes whiter and peels more.

Its delicate leaves are bright green in the spring and turn gold in the autumn.

Delicate leaves give dappled shade.

Photo courtesy of idog


How to utilize it. This sculptural tree may have single or multiple trunks. It’s beautiful as a one-speciman tree next to a terrace, in an allée, in a grove or quincunx, and at the edge of a woodland.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Planting notes. Paper birch trees don’t have a lengthy lifetime, usually around 20 to 50 years. In exchange, they are fairly fast growing. The better the site you pick for your birch, the better its chances of hitting that 50-year mark. You’ll want to look for the following species of birch, if you’re south of this line.

Don’t plant those birches in hot, dry microclimates. They can tolerate whole sun to partial shade; the USDA recommends placing them in a place on the north or south east side of the home, to keep the dirt more cool. Moist (but not wet), loose soils are best.

How to plant a birch tree:

• Dig a hole about three times the size of the root ball. Be sure that the soil is loose.
• Loosen the main ball, put it in the hole, and then fill the hole halfway with abundant soil that won’t get compacted.
• Fill the hole with water, let it drain, then fill the remaining portion of the hole with dirt.
• Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch on top to keep the soil moist and cool; do not let the mulch touch the trunk. Be sure that the soil stays cool, moist and drained.


Other applications. If all or part of your mature birch tree must come down, make sure to chop it in fireplace logs to leave out on display like all the fancy photo stylists do.

Additionally, birch trees are beneficial for wildlife — birds like to nest in it, and a few consume its catkins and seeds; sapsuckers suck its sap; porcupines consume its bark; deer eat its foliage; and the list continues.

Ultimately these trees make for some really magnificent Native American canoes, hence the common name Canoe Birch.

Genus Loci Ecological Landscapes Inc..

That is interesting. Paper birch trees have been one of the first trees in North America to pop up since the Ice Age ice retreated.

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