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Betula platyphylla (Japanese White Birch)

Japanese White Birch, White Birch, Asian White Birch

Betula platyphylla, Japanese White Birch, Tree with fall color, Fall color, Attractive bark Tree, white Birch,

Betula platyphylla, commonly called Japanese white birch, is a medium to large-sized tree noted for its white bark, thin spreading branches, and slightly pendant branchlets. Featuring an elegant, pyramidal habit, it bears ovate, toothed, lime-green leaves, 3 in. long (7 cm), with some golden-yellow fall color before they shed for the winter. In spring, tiny yellowish-brown male flowers appear in drooping catkins, while greenish female flowers appear in upright catkins. The female flowers give way to drooping cone-like fruits containing numerous small winged seeds.

This elegant birch tree is attractive in all seasons and is an excellent landscape tree in cool northern climates.

  • Grows up to 30-40 ft. tall (9-12 m) and 15-25 ft. wide (4.5-7.5 m).
  • A full sun or part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in medium to wet, well-drained soils. Tolerates a wide range of soils. It tolerates some dry soils but is best in consistently moist ones.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant or in cottage gardens and foundation plantings.
  • Low maintenance, this plant needs little pruning. If pruning is necessary, prune during the dormant season and avoid pruning in spring when the sap is running.
  • May be affected by sawflies, aphids, rust, and leaf spot.
  • Propagate by seed, softwood cuttings, or grafting
  • Native to Northeast China, Korea, and Japan

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 7
Heat Zones 5 - 7
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Betulaceae
Genus Betula
Common names White Birch
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 30' - 40'
(9.1m - 12.2m)
Spread 15' - 25'
(4.6m - 7.6m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Betula populifolia (Gray Birch)
Betula nana (Dwarf Birch)
Betula pumila (Bog Birch)
Betula alleghaniensis (Yellow Birch)
Betula lenta (Sweet Birch)
Betula utilis (Himalayan Birch)

Recommended Companion Plants

Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ (Tatarian Dogwood)
Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite)
Helleborus Winter Jewels ‘Painted Doubles’ (Hellebores)
Erica carnea ‘December Red’ (Winter Heath)
Pennisetum alopecuroides (Fountain Grass)
Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’ (Early Crocus)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Small Trees and Shrubs That Attract Birds
Roots of Life: Exploring the Diverse World of Trees
Green Canopy, Better World: Exploring the Benefits of Trees
Trees that Invite Wildlife to Your Garden
Small Trees, Big Impact: Maximize Your Garden’s Potential
Spectacular Trees for Vibrant Fall Colors: A Gardener’s Guide
Betula (Birch) – What Is Wrong With My Tree?
Betula (Birch) – Pests and Diseases to Watch Out For
Alternatives to Birch Trees Prone to Borer Attacks
Betula (Birch)
Create a Garden with Great Winter Interest
Which Birch Tree to Choose for my Garden?
Underplanting Birches
Shrubs and Trees with Attractive Winter Bark
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 7
Heat Zones 5 - 7
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Betulaceae
Genus Betula
Common names White Birch
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 30' - 40'
(9.1m - 12.2m)
Spread 15' - 25'
(4.6m - 7.6m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Betula (Birch)
Guides with
Betula (Birch)
Not sure which Betula (Birch) to pick?
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