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BETULA pendula

Silver Birch

Stock: Available


Family: Betulaceae

Characteristics: Medium tree 15-20 m generally smaller in cultivation

Seeds per packets: 100


A popular ornamental upright medium sized deciduous tree with silvery white bark and graceful a habit. Grows to a height of 15-20 m in its native range it is often smaller in cultivation.

In mid-summer the female catkins mature and the male catkins expand to release pollen. Pollination is achieved by wind. Mature seed catkins persist on the tree after the leaves fall until they disintegrate and release the seed.

Indigenous to Europe and Asia Minor.

Prefers a cool deep well-drained soil in an open sunny position, frost resistant but drought tender.

Cold stratification is recommended for this species. This can be replicated by cold stratification in the refrigerator or alternatively over wintering in the garden in cold climates will assist germination.

Cold treatment is not critical for germination to occur but should give increased germination rates.

Seed are best sown in spring. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 16-22°C

  1. Sow seed on surface of a porous seed raising mix. The seed will lodge in the the pores of the mix once watered.
  2. Sprinkle a very light covering of the seed raising mix over the seed if required to hold the seed in place. Do not bury seed deeply.
  3. Water with fine mist spray to avoid disturbance of the seed.
  4. Ensure the mix is moist but not water logged.
  5. Place the container in plastic bag.
  6. Place the bagged container in the refrigerator for 42-56 days.
  7. Place in a warm shaded or semi shaded position to avoid dying out.
  8. Keep warm & moist, avoid drying out or waterlogging the growing mix.
  9. Germination generally occurs in 14-28 days when moved to warmer temperatures after the period of cold treatment.

General note: Seeds of many plants are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.


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