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An introduction to a trio of beautiful Birch trees

A quick guide to three popular Birch trees available for sale at the Nursery, including Betula Pendula, Betula jacquemontii and Betula Nigra – otherwise known as Silver Birch, Himalayan Birch and River Birch.

Betula pendula

The Silver birch tree takes on a whole new measure of importance in the winter months. Through the grey winter months a splash of bright white bark can enlighten any garden. This native tree is widely planted through the UK both in amenity and woodland settings. King and Co’s silver birch trees can be ordered online and delivered the very next day.

A particularly valuable tree for a large garden, it will grow to around thirty feet tall, has an upright, compact habit and rather graceful arching lateral branches. Betula pendula will grow almost anywhere in most soils that are reasonably well drained.

Improving Air Quality

Silver birch trees have been proven to capture up to 79% of diesel exhaust ultrafine pollutant particles (UFPs) from the air we breathe. Wang et. al (2019) from the University of Lancaster concluded in their tests on UFPs, that Silver birch trees have a very high capability for capturing airborne pollutant particles. This evidence would suggest that Silver Birch are key trees to help to improve air quality – particularly in urban areas. Betula pendula trees should therefore be considered as a must for roadside planting. Read the full research article here.

Birch tree in garden with woodpecker close up
A majestic Birch tree alongside a driveway creates a wonderful approach to any home. Birch trees can provide a valuable habitat for wild birds.

Betula utilis Jacquemontii

In recent years the native birch has often been confused with the cultivar Betula utilis jaquemontii, the Himalayan birch which has an even more strikingly white bark than Betula pendula. It has now become one of the most popular trees in the UK and is particularly effective in urban settings, where it is often planted in a group setting to great effect.

The white bark of the Himalayan birch tree means it is one of a few trees which can provide winter interest once the yellow Autumnal leaves fall. Another tree famed for winter interest would be the Tibetan cherry (Prunus serrula. Tibetica) which has shiny mahogany/red bark.

Various Birch trees
From left: Silver Birch leaf foliage & catkins, Himalayan Birch trees, River Birch bark detail.

Betula nigra

Another type of birch that is finally being specified in wetter environments is the River birch, Betula Nigra. A most valuable tree that has until recently been undervalued by architects and designers. Apart from providing an alternative to the willows and alders, Betula nigra has an impressive peeling bark that once again is particularly valuable in the winter months.

Read More from King and Co

Further Royal Horticultural Society Reading

RHS – Silver Birch

RHS – River Birch

RHS – Birch for winter interest 

Shopping online

You can buy trees, hedging, shrubs and topiary online by browsing our website.
If you do not see a plant or size that is suitable for you then please call as we stock a wide variety of plants in our tree nursery. It’s worth noting that many other websites sell other people’s stock (i.e. they act as an agent) so you cannot view the products at their own site. At King & Co, all of our advertised plants are available for viewing at our tree nursery in Rayne, near Braintree, situated just over an hours drive out of London.

Our knowledgeable and experienced tree nursery staff are always contactable via phone on 01376 340469 or if you have any questions regarding any of our trees or accessories.

If you cannot see what you require on our website, please complete the enquiry form. We will give it our urgent attention and will get back to you shortly with a solution that meets your needs.


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