BETULA......
last updated 20/10/2014


BETULA middendorfii
This Chinese species is very rare in cultivation, which is a shame, becasue I like it very much. It is naturally free-branching, yet fairly upright; factors which combine with its smaller leaves to give it a very graceful habit. My plant is now mature enough to see that the bark is a warm pinky-red. 

BETULA nigra 
The river birch appreciates a moister site than most birch, but avoid the temptation to consign it to an unpleasant water-logged area - it deserves better than that. Dramatic pinkish brown bark peels in lavish curls to reveal glossy creamy stems. These are grown on their own roots, not grafted.

BETULA nigra 'Little King' 
A real gem. This selection becomes a multi-stemmed bushy shrub rather than a tree. So masses of shaggy peeling bark right where you can see it! Brilliant in the winter garden, the woodland, or really anywhere. Grown from cuttings so the bark can be appreciated right down to the ground. I would caution you that it is not a dwarf selection. It has great vigour and will attain a goodly size. For me it's defining feature is not its size, it is its natural multi-stemmed nature. 

BETULA nigra 'Peter Collinson'
B. nigra was introduced from its waterside habitat of eastern North America by Peter Collinson, who received material from John Bartram in the early 18th Century. This selection was collected in Canada by French plantsman Aurélien Hemono (to whom I am indebted for his generosity) and named in honour of the original introducer. I am told that it is even better than ‘Heritage’, so I’m really looking forward to seeing this one develop - it's certainly looking good so far.

BETULA papyrifera var. cordifolia 'Clarenville'

See B. cordifolia 'Clarenville'

BETULA papyrifera 'St George' 
The "Paper Birch" - a large tree with characteristic papery bark and yellow autumn colour. On this vigorous selection, orange-brown bark peels to reveal a white underlayer.

BETULA papyrifera 'Vancouver'
This is the most vigorous Birch we grow. If you are in dire need of a biggish tree quickly then this is the one for you! Wonderful yellow autumn colour late in the season makes autumn last long into winter. Ours made 6m in less than 10 years and was still a vision in yellow when everything else was bare. However I must say that the bark does not excite me.

BETULA pendula 'Bangor'
This is a vigorous upright tree, but is unusual with graceful cut leaves.

BETULA pendula 'Dark Prince'
These purple foliaged Birches are so pretty because there is such lovely contrast between the rich dark foliage and the whitening bark. This one has a more pendulous habit than 'Royal Frost', our other purple offering.

BETULA pendula 'Silver Grace'
"Silver Grace" totally epitomises the characteristics of our native lady of the woods and this selection captures the true beauty of those features. Tall, elegant with light and airy foliage gently cascading from silvery-white bark...what more could you want! It seemed fitting to plant a welcoming trio of these gorgeous trees at the entrance to the old quarry.

BETULA 'Polar Bear'
A lovely easy to grow, strong, sturdy tree displaying wonderful pure white branches and trunk. This one came to us named as a cultivar of B. ermanii, but to be honest, I have my doubts! It is much too white - definitely B. utilis territory. It is likely therefore that it is a hybrid. However, one characteristic that puts this one right up there as (possibly!) my favourite white birch is the overall habit. The limbs have a more graceful, slightly laxer appearance, almost drooping at the tips. For me, this contrasts with the more rigid, upright habit typical of B. utilis selections. 

BETULA 'Royal Frost' 
(B.populifolia 'Whitespire' x B. 'Crimson Frost') This fabulous American introduction gives a wonderful contrast in any Betula glade, having as it does rich burgundy coloured leaves all summer. Attractive yellow-orange to red autumn colour.
Not available this season

BETULA szechuanica 'Liuba White' 
The name may be a bit of a mouthful, but the tree is gorgeous. Vigorous, open form with almost blue-green leaves and brilliant white bark.

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