Silver Birch Tree Facts

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A common type of birch tree found in gardens is the silver birch (Betula pendula). The silver birch is a medium-sized deciduous tree with peeling bark. The leaves flutter attractively in the breeze, especially on the weeping varieties. There are several general characteristics that apply to every silver birch tree.

A close-up of the trunks of silver birch trees in early autumn.
A close-up of the trunks of silver birch trees in early autumn. (Image: Young777/iStock/Getty Images)

Definition

The botanical name for silver birch is Betula pendula. It is also known as European birch, weeping birch and European white birch.

A close-up of lthe eaves and trunks of silver birch trees in a spring meadow.
A close-up of lthe eaves and trunks of silver birch trees in a spring meadow. (Image: IDC/amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images)

Geography

Silver birch grows best in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 6.

Silver birch trees grow by a pond in France.
Silver birch trees grow by a pond in France. (Image: Musat/iStock/Getty Images)

Size

The tree will grow to be 40 to 50 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide.

A view of silver birch trees from the ground looking up.
A view of silver birch trees from the ground looking up. (Image: chinaface/iStock/Getty Images)

Exposure

Silver birch should be grown where it can receive full sun. It prefers a moist soil.

Clusters of silver birch on a sunny fall day.
Clusters of silver birch on a sunny fall day. (Image: chinaface/iStock/Getty Images)

Problems

Insects to watch for include the bronze birch borer, aphids, birch skeletonizer and birch leaf miner. Other problems may be canker diseases, leaf spots and dieback.

A close-up of a birch leaf miner on the bark of the tree.
A close-up of a birch leaf miner on the bark of the tree. (Image: Henrik_L/iStock/Getty Images)

Weeping Form

There are many varieties of silver birch that have a weeping form. They include Darlecarlica, Tristis and Youngii.

Drooping branches of weeping birch trees on a clear day.
Drooping branches of weeping birch trees on a clear day. (Image: Tamara Kulikova/iStock/Getty Images)

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