Himalayan Birch Betula utilis jacquemontii

Description & features

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

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Size and quantity

Photo
Size / Height
Price
Quantity
 
15L pot size / 1.75-2.75m
£54.00
30L pot size / 3.0-4.5m
£156.00
130L Multi-Stem / 3.75-5.0m
£817.01

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

This product will also be available from November to March as a bare-root plant.

Sizes and prices will appear on the website later in the year. What does bare-root mean?

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 UTILIS JACQUEMONTII – Himalayan Birch

Characteristics

Himalayan Birch is easily recognisable by its dazzlingly white, silky smooth, shining bark.  As with other birches, as it grows, the old bark peels away revealing the new bark underneath.  The branches are ascending and the ends do not droop in the way that the native Silver Birch does. The leaves are larger than Betula pendula and turn yellow in the autumn.  It can reach height of 15m (50ft) and the pyramidal shaped head is approximately 8m (25ft) wide.  The vivid trunks make this an ideal candidate to be planted in groups of three or as a multi stemmed specimen.

Where to Grow

It is generally tolerant of most soils but prefers full light and good drainage.

Did you know?

It is not unknown for some gardeners to jet wash or sponge down the barks of Betula jacquemontii with soapy water to enhance the startling effect of the bark
 

Features

Mature height
Medium - 10-15 metres
Spread
5-10 metres
Shape / habit
Pyramidal
Open
Growth rate
Medium
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Autumn
Winter
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Fine/Light leaf
Small leaves
Stem/bark
White
Peeling bark?
Yes
Uses
Screening
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Features

Mature height
Medium - 10-15 metres
Spread
5-10 metres
Shape / habit
Pyramidal
Open
Growth rate
Medium
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Autumn
Winter
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Fine/Light leaf
Small leaves
Stem/bark
White
Peeling bark?
Yes
Uses
Screening
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Aftercare

Pruning Betula Utilis Jacquemontii

Betula utilis Jacquemontii can be trained as a standard or multi-stemmed tree.

To display the beautiful smooth bark, remove low stems from the main trunk(s) when young. This will keep branch scars small.

The crown is naturally well-spaced and pyramidal, therefore once established restrict pruning to taking out any twiggy growth that obscures the bark.

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 PeterHook on 12/11/2015

QUESTION.
we wish to plant a copse of Betula “Snow Queen”. Could you advise us if it is preferable to plant bare rooted or potted trees.
Many thanks for assistance,
all the best,

Peter Hook

By Simon on 17/11/2015

Hello Peter,

The advantage of planting bare root is that it is more economical and it is easier to transport the trees without heavy pots full of compost. The window for planting is short, though – it must be done while the trees are dormant (approx. Nov-Mar). The advantage of planting from pots is that you can plant at any time of year and you can choose your own trees in the nursery. I hope that helps you make a decision on which to use.

By Mary Wilson on 19/01/2016

Hello
I have a courtyard garden and would like to plant a Himalayan birch in a pot as that is our only option, do you think this would be OK?

By Simon on 19/01/2016

Dear Mary,

Himalayan birch is a medium-sized tree, so not really suitable for a pot as it would outgrow it very quickly. For pots and planters, stick with very small trees, or very slow growing ones. Even then, it is not easy to keep trees happy in containers for very long as they quickly become pot-bound and need lots of attention in the form of watering and feeding. Keeping trees in pots upright is another challenge!

By Raymond Lindsay on 05/03/2016

What sort of soil is suitable for hi,alayan birch, how quikly will it grow and what sort of area will it take up I.e. how far from nearest tree?

By Simon on 09/03/2016

Dear Raymond,

Himalayan birch will tolerate most soils, though it prefers well drained. After establishment it may put on about a foot a year, but growth rates depend on many factors so there is no definitive answer to this. Its ultimate spread can be 5-8m, but there is no reason why you cannot plant as close as 1m. Birches grow very close together in the wild.

By Pauline Wynne. on 12/03/2016

I have a 4.5 metre garden width. I would like to plant 2 X Betula Jacgemontii each side of the entrance to the garden. Is this too little width?
Many thanks, great web sight.

By Ann Lawrence on 14/03/2016

Do you supply multi stemmed jacqumontee ?  Saw you nursery on Gardeners World.

By Simon on 16/03/2016

Hello Pauline,

I’m glad you like our website. The trees themselves would be happy with 4.5 meters between them, but depeing on the size of the garden they may become very imposing over time.

By Simon on 16/03/2016

Hello Ann,

We do have some but only very large ones in 150L pots at the moment I am afraid. If you send me an e-mail with you address I can give you a quote.

By Alison on 16/05/2016

I am in the process of moving house to a semi-detached with a small back garden. The house is overlooked from the back and want to purchase a tree that won’t get too big but will mask the view from the neighbour’s upstais window. On Gardeners World, Monty Don has mentioned Himalayan Birch in the past. Do you have any suggestions? Would love a tree with all year round interest that birds & insects love. Kind regards.
Alison

By Simon on 25/05/2016

Hello Alison,

Himalayan birch is a lovely tree and will certainly be good for wildlife, but depending on the size of your garden it might get a bit too big in time. Trees with berries are fantastic for birdlife, so you might want to consider something like Cotoneaster cornubia or Crataegus prunifolia Splendens, which would also do a good job of screening.

By eve on 25/06/2016

Can you please tell me if the roots of a Himalayen Birch tree spread out very much or go more or less straight down?  Thanks

By Simon on 27/06/2016

Hello Eve,

Very few trees have roots that go straight down. Most often, the majority of tree roots tend to sit in the top two feet (60cm) of the soil. Their spread very much depends on conditions and site, but as a rule of thumb the roots spread as far as the tree is tall.

By Nicholas Hankinson on 29/06/2016

We had been looking at silver birch for planting in 6 zinc containerseach 55 x 55 x 54cm deep placed on a South facing terrace in our garden, but after reading your comments about BETULA UTILIS JACQUEMONTII, feel now that this might not be a good idea.  We are looking for summer foliage plus winter impact through colour or shape of bark.  We have considered bamboo, trained twisted stem willow and various eucalyptus.  I would be most grateful for your recommendations.

Regards

By Simon on 01/07/2016

Hello Nicholas,

For containers, slow-growing or small trees and shrubs are generally best. In any case, you will need to keep up a strict watering and feeding regime to keep them going. Bear in mind that the container will also limit the longevity of the tree as it becomes pot bound. That said, you might consider the paperbark maple, Acer griseum, which is slow growing with an interesting bark and excellent autumn colour.

By rosie Garwood on 08/08/2016

We have a coastal garden (Sussex). I would like to plant four Himalayan birches in the front garden (i.e. the side of the garden that does not face the sea). The garden is large and the house is three storeys high and I would like these trees to bring height and interest in the garden. would these trees cope with high winds and salt spray?Presumably they cope with wind but would they need to be staked?

By Simon on 11/08/2016

Hello Rosie,

Himalayan birches will cope with a fair amount of wind, but they aren’t salt tolerant. However, you say that they would be planted in part of the garden that doesn’t face the sea, so I wonder if it would be sheltered enough for them in this location? You would certainly need to stake the trees for a few years while they establish. If you send through a photo of the site to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) we can take a look and suggest other trees for coastal conditions if you need an alternative.

By Laurence on 01/10/2016

Hi

Can we top a Himalayan birch at around 20 feet to stop it growing too tall?

Many thanks

By Simon on 01/10/2016

Hello Laurence,

Birches don’t take very well to pruning, I’m afraid. If you need a tree that won’t grow more than 20ft, I would look at our small trees section. Amelanchier is a very nice small tree you could consider. The other option would be to opt for a tree that doesn’t mind being pruned, for example a Crataegus prunifolia Splendens.

By Chris Wootton on 06/10/2016

What and when should I feed my Himalayan Birch?

By Simon on 07/10/2016

Hello Chris,

When planting your tree, we recommend adding a few spadefuls of organic matter with the backfill soil. The tree planting compost we supply has a slow release fertiliser incorporated which will feed the tree for the next 12 months.

After the first year, you can apply a top dressing of fertiliser in late winter or early spring to help your trees along. Fertilisers are available from garden centres and DIY shops. Sprinkle the fertiliser around the rooting area and fork in to the soil, or apply as directed on the packet.

Established trees don’t usually need feeding, but if new shoots are sluggish (less than 10cm over the growing season) or the foliage pale, then you might want to consider an application.

By Kerry O'Grady on 16/11/2016

Help…my Himalayan Birch is growing too big…I love it and don’t want to kill it..please can you advise can I chop off a large branch to give it a more upright growth..it is crowding my windows. I know they don’t like pruning but I’m going to have to risk it I think. Will this slow its root growth?

Thank you

By Simon on 16/11/2016

Hello Kerry,

You’re right, they don’t take very well to pruning, but if you have no choice then take off any large branches in winter. It will leave a nasty scar and can spoil the overall shape, but sounds like you’re aware of this. Any reduction in the crown will have some effect on root growth, but if it’s just one branch it might not be significant.

By Hello, on 05/03/2019

Could you tell me why Himalyan Birch do not like pruning?

Thanks,

By Simon on 13/03/2019

Hello, There are a number of reasons it’s best not to prune these trees. The first one is that if you prune to keep the height down it will effect the ultimate shape of the tree. They have a very elegant shape that is affected when they are pruned. The second main reason you need to be careful pruning Birch trees is that they are very prone to bleeding if pruned at the wrong time of year.

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