Betula pendula

European White Birch or Silver Birch

Tips for Homeowners:

This tree requires full sun with maybe a break in the afternoon and prefers evenly moist, well-drained soil.  Best to mulch and possibly install soaker hoses.  Needs little pruning, but if needed prune in summer after sap stops running.

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This is a beautiful tree and certainly worth consideration for the landscape, but it is best to take a little time to research to locate new hybrids that are reported to be borer resistant.

  • Oval, weeping habit
  • Fast growing
  • White bark exfoliates in strips

Reserve for protected sites with cool, moist soil. Plant with caution. Best in eastern Kansas.

Height: 30-40 ft
Spread: 15-30 ft
Zone: 2-6
Color: Brown

Interesting Notes about European White Birch:

The white bark is an easy identifier of this striking tree and sheds its layers like tissue paper to reveal black patches.  The habit referred to as weeping is more like branches that droop and in the landscape is an interesting contrast to neighboring trees.  An unfortuneate reality is the tendency for the birch borer to invade and will occur when the tree is stressed by summer heat and humidity.

Characteristics & Attributes


  • Mass Planting
  • Specimen
  • Great Foliage
  • Fast Growing
  • Winter Interest
  • Naturalizing

Foliage Color:

  • Yellow
  • Green


  • Full Sun
  • Partial Sun

Critter Resistance:

  • Deer Resistant


  • Upright

Soil Moisture:

  • Moist, Well-Drained