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Types of Birch?

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Hi, I'm struggling to find a birch that will fit my small patio garden.

I live in the city, on the Hampshire south coast, and am bemused by the different types of birch which might be suitable for my garden. I want an easy to keep/grow species, a very white bark, and with some reliable catkins in the spring. I would prefer a trunk which is multi-stemmed at a low level to provide some architectual interest in the space. Above the space for the tree we have telegraph wires from one corner of a house extending across our garden so it cannot be enormously high. Would prefer a canopy of leaves rather than too upright.

Could anyone help me with any suggestions please?

Thank you. Lou

  • Views: 1076
  • Replies: 6
  • Posted: Wed. 6th February 2013 11:24

Re: Types of Birch?

Reply from Ashley Penn

Betula utilis var. jacquemontii 'Grayswood Ghost' comes as a multi stem, and you can't beat it for pure white bark, although the colour is better on single stems. Silver Shadow is another good jacquemontii birch.

Kind regards,

Ash
@AshleyDPenn

  • Posted: Wed. 6th February 2013 17:31

Re: Re: Types of Birch?

Reply from Lou

Dear Ash

Work on our re-designed garden starts next week, so I will make your suggestions available to him, so thank you for this information.

Kind regards

Lou

  • Posted: Thu. 7th February 2013 10:17

Re: Types of Birch?

Reply from Ian McLintock

Lou, I have one of these in my garden and it's really nice. It also doesn't grow too large. Try matching with bright dogwoods or black bamboo to contrast. Ian

  • Posted: Thu. 7th February 2013 20:34

Re: Re: Types of Birch?

Reply from Lou

Hi Ash

Is it the Grayswood Ghost you have in your garden? (Your garden looks wonderful!) I live in an area with chalky soil, and a small patio garden. I have read that the roots spread somewhat so a concern about being in close proximity to neighbours' walls etc, and a neutral to acid soil is best. Do you think this could be the case please? In the picture the tree on the left is coming as it is very poorly and has struggled over the last 2 years with a mould, so we will plant the Birch in the opposite corner.

(Sorry tried to post a jpg but system wont allow!)

Best wishes
Lou

  • Posted: Sat. 9th February 2013 10:44

Re: Re: Re: Types of Birch?

Reply from Ashley Penn

Hi Lou,

:) Not sure where you will have seen my garden..? At the moment I am 'in between gardens', unless you've googled me and found something I've designed for someone else?

I wouldn't worry too much about the roots and the wall. The NHBC (National Home Builders Council) rate Birch species as 'low water demand'. Unless you're on very high 'soil volume change potential' (as they call it), you should be ok. Also you'll be periodically stooling some shoots of the tree to get that multi stem effect which will weaken the tree more than if it were allowed to grow on to full height.

Graswood Ghost will tolerate a range of soil conditions, including chalk.

Kind regards,
Ash

  • Posted: Mon. 11th February 2013 17:44

Re: Re: Re: Re: Types of Birch?

Reply from Lou

Thanks Ash.

In my History, I was looking at Ian M's garden and somehow a twitter link for AshleyDPenn came up - assumed it was yours.

When garden finish, will post a picture.

Thanks for all your information.

Lou

  • Posted: Mon. 11th February 2013 20:28