Betula albosinensis var. septentrionalis

Chinese red birch

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Outstanding Qualities

Chinese red birch is one of the most exquisite birches in cultivation. Grown for its fabulous peeling trunks, mature trees will shed large sheets of pinkish beige paper-like bark with a white-waxy bloom revealing smooth patches of chestnut brown. This is particularly spectacular when backlit by the setting sun. Although its roots are shallow they do not compete with the other plants under its canopy.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 20 ft. 0 in. (6.10 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 50 ft. 0 in. (15.24 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 40 ft. 0 in. (12.19 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Cornus sericea ‘Baileyi’, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’, Acer griseum, Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Milky Way’, Styrax obassia

Great Color Contrasts: purple, burgundy

Great Color Partners: pink, brown, bronze

Culture Notes
This birch grows best in full sun to light shade and can adapt to a wide variety of soils, from well-drained to wet locations. It will also tolerate sandy sites or clay soils. Once established it is drought tolerant. Lower branches can be removed when they are small to show off the beautiful trunk, but in general it requires little more than the removal of dead, broken or poorly formed limbs. Provide plenty of space to fully enjoy the beautiful trunk and the graceful and delicate branching.