Our new season birch are looking sensational this year, brimming with foliage and bark colour. I’ve only got three varieties of Birch in my garden and the bark colour they give all year round lifts the garden even on the most gloomy of winter days. Perhaps my favourite, Betula albosinensis Fascination has a bark that peels revealing a creamy white beneath but also a vivid dark orange colour on the underside of the peel. Its catkin display in April is always showy and its upright habit means it requires very little maintenance.
I have Betula utilis Jacquemontii growing as a multi stem and this is the most popular of birches that we sell, so much so that we generally sell out by the end of March each year and have to wait until September before the new crop comes online. Commonly known as the Himalayan Birch or the White Birch there are many slightly different varieties such as Doorenbos, Grayswood Ghost, Snowqueen or Jacquemontii. I defy the layman to tell the difference between them! We sell them under the unifying banner of Jacquemontii and this year we have about 2,000 to go at.
Betula ermanii is the third variety of birch in my garden and this is always the first tree to leaf up in the spring. Its uniform habit means I have not had to touch it in 15 years and I don’t anticipate having to apply any maintenance in the future. The great thing about Birch is that they give dappled shade rather than dense shade so your garden is not deprived of too much sunlight.
A birch I would love to have in my garden, but haven’t any room left, is Betula nigra. The orangey peeling bark gives great contrast within a garden and the autumn colour of clear yellow is wonderful.
Birch is my favourite genus of trees and no garden should be without one!
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