Young's Weeping Birch Betula pendula Youngii

Description & features

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

Step 1 - Select plant type

Bare root guide

Step 2 - Size and quantity

Photo
Size / Height
Price
Quantity
 
30L pot size / 2.4-3.5m
£132.00

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

Product description

BETULA PENDULA YOUNGII - Young’s weeping birch

Characteristics

This is a small domed shaped tree which gets to about 8m (25ft) but if it has been propagated by top grafting it will only get to about 4m (13ft), ours are generally bottom grafted and trained to have a straight long trunk.  The weeping branches will touch the floor unless pruned.  It tends to grow as wide as it is tall and is often described as mushroom or umbrella shaped.  Unlike most other birches it rarely produces catkins and the leaves are slightly smaller than those of the native Betula pendula.


Where to Grow

It is often seen planted in a middle of a lawn.  It has no special soil requirements and will grow well in most situations.  It is happy both in full sun and dappled shade.

Did you know?

The tall slender nature of most birches lends it to be closely planted in groups of three.   This is rarely the case with Betula Youngii because of its wide domed habit.  There is however a lovely example of Betula Youngii being planted in a large group at Westonbirt arboretum creating a stunning effect – an inviting spot for den building and hide and seek.
 

Features

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Weeping
Growth rate
Fast
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Winter
Summer
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Dense
Small leaves
Stem/bark
White
Peeling bark?
Yes
Uses
Screening
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Features

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Weeping
Growth rate
Fast
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Winter
Summer
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Dense
Small leaves
Stem/bark
White
Peeling bark?
Yes
Uses
Screening
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Aftercare

Pruning Betula pendula Youngii

Without vertical training, Betula pendula Youngii will form a wide mushroom shape, wider than it is tall and often with shoots weeping to the ground. Training the leading shoot gradually will strengthen the stem and elevate the rounded head.

To display the attractive bark, remove low stems from the trunk when they are young. This will keep branch scars small, however the weeping branches may conceal the bark while in leaf.

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.

Watering

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.

Staking

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.

Ties

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.


Comments

By Paul holland on 18/02/2016

Hello
I have a line of youngii which were planned last winter and have had a good growing summer, I want to reduce the height to more ornamental, and obtain the weeping effect, can I just cut through the trunk at a given height to reduce by some 400mm?
Thank you
Regards
Paul

By Simon on 19/02/2016

Dear Paul,

I’m afraid that pruning birches along the main stem isn’t a good idea as it spoils their natural shape. The tree will naturally start to weep as it matures. You can certainly give the weeping branches a light prune as required. If you bought your birches from Chew Valley Trees, they will be the bottom-grafted type, which naturally reaches about 8m. There is also a top-grafted type available, and if you cut this off below the graft then the tree will revert to the rootstock species and you won’t get Betula Youngii at all!

By Sandra west on 04/06/2016

My weeping birch only grows one side, so has no leaves the other side any ideas please .

By Simon on 06/06/2016

Hello Sandra,

Does it have branches with no leaves on? If there is dieback like this I wonder if there has been some damage to them. It’s difficult to say what has happened but feel free to send a photo to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we can take a look.

By Hazel on 30/08/2016

I have a youngii weeping birch which I love but it has become very wide. Would pruning it fairly hard to reduce width be advisable? If so when is best to prune? Thanks

By Simon on 31/08/2016

Hello Hazel,

Hard pruning on Betula pendula Youngii is not usually recommended, however if you need to reduce the size then it’s best to make cuts in autumn. If heavy pruning is carried out earlier in the year, while the tree is in active growth, sap can bleed from the cuts and weaken the tree.

By Margaret Leslie on 11/03/2017

The weeping birch youngii in my front garden was planted 20-25 years ago.  It is now weeping sap from the outermost part of its branches or fronds and causing a puddle on my front path for the last week or two.  The bark has developed diamond-shaped splits which have turned mossy.  Would you mind telling me if these “symptoms” are consistent with the tree being healthy?  It is about 12ft tall.  I would be most grateful for your advice.

By Simon on 15/03/2017

Hello Margaret,

I wonder if your tree has suffered a snapped branch or some sort of damage? At this time of year the sap is rising, so if any damage occurs then you can see profuse ‘bleeding’. Diamond shaped fissures in birch bark are normal with age, as is some moss appearing on the bark.

By Margaret on 15/03/2017

Thank you Simon for your advice on my very weepy weeping birch.  Most helpful.

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