Erman Birch Betula Ermanii

British Grown
Volume 1+
Price per plant £54.00
Price £54.00

All prices include VAT

Product description

BETULA ERMANII - Erman’s Birch

Is a very pretty Birch, with an elegant, low branched crown with quite heavy branches. It becomes a medium-sized tree on a low trunk often taking a multi-stemmed form.

In good conditions it will grow to 20m (65ft), it will also colonise thin and poor soils in its natural habitat, hence the Russian name ‘Rock Birch’

It’s also called ‘Gold Birch’ because of its yellow-white and pink-white peeling off bark in thin strips and the splendid yellow autumnal colour.  It comes into leaf very early in the year often before most other birches.

Where to grow

It is native to large areas of North East Asia from Japan to Siberia as far as Lake Baikal, from sea level to the arctic tree line.  However it needs a fertile, damp soil, to grow to its full potential

Did you know?

Introduced around 1830 in Germany by the German amateur-botanist Georg Adolf Erman.

Mature height
Large - 15-20 metres
Growth rate
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty/hard to grow
Season of interest
Autumn colour
Early to Leaf
Small leaves
Peeling bark?
Good for Windy sites
Good at altitude
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites


Pruning Betula Ermanii

Betula ermanii requires little routine pruning once established. As a slender tree, heavy pruning can mar the overall appearance. Only remove young stems that obscure the bark, or are severely congested.

To display the bark synonymous with many birches, remove low stems from the trunk when they are young. This will keep branch scars small.

When should I prune? Light prune during the autumn, through to mid-winter. 

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.


The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.


If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.


Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


By Geoff panes on 16/07/2015

Can you recommend a silver birch for a smallish garden,not to high or wide as I would like 2/3 trees as a feature.  Thanks.  Geoff Panes.

By Simon on 04/08/2015

Hello Geoff,

The Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis Jacquemontii) is probably the best choice. These are available in single-stemmed or multi-stem form. They do not grow as tall as the native silver birch, or the Erman birch, therefore are more suitable for a small garden.

By Verity Eastwood Dewing on 05/09/2016

Please could you recommend me a tree for a feature for our small/medium garden.  I am thinking about an Ermanii Birch.  There are several birches growing well the other side of our house around the playground area.  However we are in a new estate and the topsoil is thin and is on top of solid clay. We dug a hole in prep. for the tree and have had a small pond in the bottom all summer! Would the Ermanii Birch cope with these conditions? Thanks Verity E Dewing

By Simon on 14/09/2016

Hello Verity,

The Erman Birch is a lovely tree that does enjoy damp conditions, but it is a large tree, so I wonder whether it is suitable for your small-medium garden? You might want to consider smaller trees that will work on clay, such as Amelanchier lamarckii. It’s interesting that you have discovered the poor drainage by digging a hole, but do bear in mind that it’s best to wait until planting to dig a hole for your tree to avoid it filling with water or drying out at the edges. Feel free to email us photos of your garden for more advice.

By Brian Capstick on 18/10/2016

I have found Betula ermanii to be a most excellent tree.  It has grown narrower in my garden than jacquemontii and the bark is less glaringly white.  It looks more natural.  Ermanii also comes into leaf earlier and forms a stunning golden spire early in autumn.  It makes a good companion for jacquemontii.

For damp conditions on clay turning waterlogged in the winter, I have a few river birch (betula nigra) from you that are thriving in these conditions.

I have found the amount of stuff that falls off birch trees to be a problem in some locations, especially near water.

By Simon on 19/10/2016

Hello Brian,

Pleased to hear you are enjoying your Betula ermanii. It is a beautiful tree. Not a lot you can do about them shedding leaves etc, unfortunately. It is worth thinking about when planting near water.

Reviews, Comments and Questions

Your data will be used to display your comment, get in touch if you'd like to edit/remove it. You can find out more details in our Privacy Policy.