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The widespread silver birch (sometimes spelled silver birch) is a fast-growing, very undemanding tree with numerous uses.

The silver birch is also called silver birch

Betula pendula in a nutshell at a glance

  • Botanical name: Betula pendula
  • Other designations: silver birch, silver birch, warty birch
  • Genus: Birch (Betula)
  • Family: Birch family (Betulaceae)
  • Tree species: deciduous tree
  • Origin and distribution: Central Europe
  • Location: sunny to light semi-shady
  • Soil: sandy to loamy, acidic to slightly alkaline
  • Growth height: between 10 and 25 meters
  • Growth form: slender, upright tree
  • Leaf: ovate with serrated edges
  • Autumn colour: golden yellow
  • Flower: yellow
  • Flowering time: March to April
  • Fruit: hanging nut fruit
  • Bark: white with black fissures
  • Root: Shallow root
  • Propagation: preferably via seeds
  • Application and use: native tree, ornamental tree, useful tree (wood, fruits, etc.)
  • Toxicity: no

species and distribution

The fast-growing and undemanding silver birch is a real pioneer that populates bare areas in no time at all thanks to its rapid growth. It is relatively the same for this native deciduous tree as to the nature of the soil and subsoil, the main thing is that the location is bright and sunny. Silver birches grow almost everywhere, even where other plants would no longer feel comfortable. However, the tree is not particularly long-lived, after about 90 to 120 years of life it is over. There are some very interesting cultivated forms for the home garden, some of which are also suitable for areas with little space:

  • Blood birch (Betula pendula Purpurea): Height between seven and nine meters, dark red leaves
  • Weeping Birch (Betula pendula Youngii): Height of growth between four and eight meters, overhanging branches
  • Fern-leaved birch (Betula pendula Dalecarlica): growth height between eight and ten meters, columnar growth
  • Pillar birch (Betula pendula Fastigiata): very slender growth, up to ten meters high
  • Golden birch (Betula pendula Golden Cloud): growth height of up to eight meters, golden-yellow foliage

Appearance and Features

Silver birches are easily recognized by their white trunk with black furrows. Little is known, however, about the purpose of this unusual bark color, because thanks to it, birch trees can regulate the temperature and protect themselves from inhospitable temperatures. As a result, silver birches are very hardy and survive late frosts in spring unscathed. The widespread tree is not particularly popular with allergy sufferers, but its uses are diverse. The very light-colored birch wood is mainly used to make furniture, while birch sap and water are used in cosmetics, in the kitchen and in herbal medicine.


Traditionally, the birch sap obtained in spring is not only drunk or used as a sweetener, but also transformed into birch wine through fermentation.

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