Weeping Birch Trees – Which Variety to Choose?

When it comes to specimen trees, weeping birch trees are one of the most popular choices. With a stunning pendulous habit and showy bark, weeping birch tree varieties make a lovely focus of interest in the garden. Weeping Birch varieties vary in size and the colour of the foliage, which means that there is an ideal match for every landscape.

A mature Betula Pendula tree displays the lovely drooping branches tpyical of weeping birch trees.

Betula Pendula, to give it its full botanical name, is a highly-decorative deciduous tree that can be used to add interest both to large lawns and small gardens. Weeping birch trees have a distinct growth habit, with their branches drooping downwards and heart-shaped to triangular foliage that provides multiple seasons of interest. The light canopy of these trees makes beautiful filtered shade during hot summer days, but maybe it is the wintertime when these trees truly stand out in the landscape: the bare weeping branches and the recognizable bark make a striking scene. All weeping birch varieties have good autumn colour and produce decorative catkins, ensuring that these impressive cultivars offer interests throughout all seasons of the year.

The diamond-shaped foliage of Betula Summer Cascade (pictured here) turns to warm golden hues in autumn

Depending on the available space and the size of your garden, as well as your own preferences, some weeping birch varieties might be more suited for you than others. Take a look at some of the weeping birch trees that we offer for sale, categorised by their size.

Compact Weeping Birch Trees for Small Gardens

If you have limited space in your garden and need an attractive tree that will not overpower other plants in your garden but still attract attention, a weeping birch is an ideal candidate. These weeping birch varieties will not grow over 8 metres in height and circa 3 metres in width, which makes them just the right size for a small garden.

Weeping Silver Burch or Betula Utilis Pendula

This elegant tree is the smallest of all weeping birch tree varieties we have for sale. Approximate size of this petite cultivar is only 3 to 4 metres in height and it can be grown in large containers: its silvery foliage and pendulous habit can be used to add interest to a rooftop garden.

River Birch Summer Cascade

Pictured here is the showy peeling bark of River Birch Summer Cascade variety, ideal for adding texture to a winter garden.

Compact and showy, this cultivar (Latin name Betula Nigra Summer Cascade) loves damp soils and does well near ponds, lakes, or streams. Its hallmark peeling bark provides year-round interest and makes a splendid addition to winter gardens.

Swedish Birch Tree

This weeping birch variety (Latin name Betula Pendula Crispa) is at its best when the deeply lobed foliage turns to vibrant golden-yellow hues in the autumn. As a sure sign of its reliable performance, Swedish Birch received the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Spider Alley Birch

Maybe the most memorable of all weeping birch tree varieties, this unique tree earned its best known for the gnarled, twisted branches that feather out into a spidery form (hence the name). Expected size for this striking cultivar is 8 metres in height and 2 metres in width. Latin name – Betula Alba Spider Alley.

Left: Spider Alley Birch Right: Silver Birch Fastigiata Joes
Both of these ornamental weeping birch trees are ideal for small gardens.

Silver Birch Fastigiata Joes

With its narrow form (50 centimetres in width), this is one of those weeping birch trees that are suited for large and small spaces alike. Although it can be grown on its own, this stiff upright variety looks absolutely spectacular when planted en masse.

Purple Birch Tree

This one of our showier weeping birch tree varieties, prized for its distinctive purple foliage. With a slow growth rate, this vibrant cultivar will add a bit of colour in a small garden. Latin name – Betula Pendula Purpurea.

Most Popular Weeping Birch Tree Varieties for Large Gardens

Although all weeping birch trees we offer look lovely in large, open spaces, some varieties are more suited for big gardens, mainly due to their own imposing size that ranges from 10 to 30 metres in height. If you are looking for a stately weeping birch to provide architectural value and multiple seasons of interest to your garden, here are some of our top choices.

Young’s Weeping Birch

The mushroom or dome-shaped habit of Betula Pendula Youngii an eye-catching addition for a large lawn.

The umbrella-shaped habit makes this lovely Silver Birch variety stand out, mainly when planted on a spacious lawn. This weeping tree won the RHS Award of Garden Merit, a sure sign of its outstanding qualities.

Silver Birch Tristis

The narrow form of Silver Birch Tristis is what makes this weeping birch tree particularly appealing.

The naturally slender habit makes this variety even more attractive: with an approximate height of 20 metres, this weeping birch has a 4 to 6-metre spread. This cultivar has won the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit. Latin name – Betula Pendula Tristis.

Silver Birch Tree

A UK native, the statuesque Silver Birch is the largest of all weeping birch tree varieties we have for sale. When fully developed, which can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years, this graceful tree will be 30 metres high, with its pendulous branches cascading to create a breathtaking display.

European White Birch

European White Birch or Betula Pendula Fastigiata is an impressive tree with a towering growth habit.

This is another fastigiated cultivar from our collection of weeping birch trees, popular for its narrow, erect habit. Due to its imposing size of 20 metres this cultivar achieves in maturity and its structural form, this elegant tree is often used to add architectural value to large gardens and estates.

How To Care for Weeping Birch Trees

Although each may have their own needs and preferences, Weeping Birch varieties all have very similar requirements when it comes to their care. Naturally occurring in various areas across Europe and Asia (including Siberia), weeping birch trees are fully hardy in the United Kingdom.

Most weeping birch varieties will put up with almost any conditions and manage to thrive in the most unlikely places. Ideally, weeping birch trees should be grown in areas where there is plenty of sunlight and in well-drained but moist soil. In terms of factors such as urban pollution, drought, wet soils, subzero temperatures or strong winds, these ornamental trees tolerate them all: in fact, all Betula Pendula varieties are well known for their exceptional adaptability and versatility.

The ease of care and maintenance makes weeping birches appealing to gardening beginners and seasoned pros alike, but, with their stunning appearance, we think they would be as popular even if they were more complicated to grow.

Do you have more questions? Feel free to contact our team of experts on live chat or send us an email. We are always happy to help you make the right choice!

Care Of Weeping Silver Birch: How To Plant A Weeping Silver Birch

A weeping silver birch is a graceful beauty. Bright white bark and long, downward growing shoots at the ends of the branches create an effect unmatched by other landscape trees. Find out more about this lovely tree and weeping silver birch care in this article.

What are Weeping Silver Brich Trees?

Weeping silver birch (Betula pendula) is a European species that is well suited to North American locations with mild summers and cold winters. It isn’t a low-maintenance tree, but it well worth the time you put into it.

Weeping silver birch growing conditions include full sun and well-drained, moist soil. The soil should never dry out. A thick layer of mulch around the base of the tree will help hold moisture in. Weeping silver birch trees grow best in areas where summer temperatures rarely exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit (25 C.) and where the roots are covered with snow for most of the winter.

Care of Weeping Silver Birch

An important part of the care of weeping silver birch trees is keeping the soil evenly moist. If the soil in the area isn’t naturally moist, install drip irrigation under the mulch.

The tree is susceptible to fungal diseases for which there is no cure, but you may be able to keep them at bay by pruning out diseased twigs and branches. Prune in late winter before the tree breaks dormancy. Pruning cuts bleed an abundance of sap if you wait until spring. Cut back to healthy wood. The cut will stimulate growth from the side shoots and nodes below it, so it’s best to cut just above a node or side shoot.

If the long shoots make landscaping tasks, such as mowing, difficult, you can cut them back to the desired length. Always mow so that any sticks or debris caught by the mower blades will be thrown away from the tree instead of toward it to prevent trunk injuries. Injuries create entry points for insects and disease.

Plant a weeping silver birch in an area where it is in scale with the rest of the landscape and where it has room to spread to its mature size. The tree will grow 40 to 50 feet tall, and will look awkward in a small yard. The canopy will spread 25 to 30 feet, and it should not be crowded by structures or other trees.

Young’s Weeping Birch

Young’s Weeping birch
G. Lumis

Scientific Name: Betula pendula ‘Youngii’

Foliage: Dark green, similar to European Birch, yellow fall colour
Bark: White bark that peels
Height: 15 feet
Spread: 20 feet
Shape: Weeping habit, no central leader
Growth Characteristics: Moderate

The Young’s Weeping Birch is a variety of European white birch. This tree’s characteristic asymmetric branch structure makes it an interesting addition to small garden areas.

Plant Needs
Zone: 3 to 9
Light: Full sun to light shade
Moisture: requires consistently moist soil, water regularly
Soil Type: Moist, well-drained, neutral

Transplanting should be done in early spring. Fertilize once or twice per year with a specially formulated fertilizer for Birch trees. Water to keep the soil wet or moist a few inches below the surface. Prune to maintain shape, but do not prune during the growing season. Rather, wait until the end of the growing season in the fall. This is especially important because the bronze birch borer is active during the spring and open pruning wounds are inviting to them.

Susceptible to birch leafminer and highly susceptible to bronze birch borer.

Iron deficiency may occur, especially in alkaline soils. This is evident by yellowing of the leaves. This problem is refered to as Chlorosis and can be treated by introducing iron tablets into the soil.

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