Betula jacquemontii: brilliant white bark and great for gardens of all sizes
Betula utilis jacquemontii, otherwise known as the Himalayan Birch, is the whitest of white stemmed silver birches. A fast-growing deciduous tree, it has sensationally white bark and large oval mid-green leaves. It provides a degree of autumn colour when the leaves turn yellow, and lovely long light brown catkins in early spring.
Happy growing in almost any soil providing it is well-drained, B. jacquemontii likes a sunny spot but can cope with wind. As a ‘traditional’ single-stem tree, it can grow to heights of up to 10m, but my preference for our garden design client’s is to plant B. jacquemontii as a multi-stem specimen. Multi-stem trees are great for smaller gardens. The growth is ‘shared’ between two or three main trunks, reducing the overall height and giving us much more ‘eye level’ interest.
All birches tend to have a light canopy and this allows plenty of dappled light to reach the ground around them. B. jacquemontii is no exception to this, and so it can be a great choice of tree for planting in a lawn or in a mixed border. I love to underplant it with a variety of perennials, particularly those with interesting foliage and colour to provide a contrast with B. jacquemontii’s white stems. Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ and Stipa tenuissima are favourites for this, but taller plants like Verbena bonariensis and Foeniculum ‘Pupureum’ also work really well.
B. jacquemontii can be grown as single, focal point, specimen trees or in groups of three, five or seven. Larger clusters can be especially exciting if space permits. A ‘copse’ of several B. jacquemontii interplanted with a drift of the red-stemmed Cornus ‘Sibirica’ never fails to create a breath-taking statement in a winter garden. Simply magical.
So, if you’re looking to plant a new tree in your garden, why not consider Betula jacquemontii?
Tythorne Garden Design provides professional fixed-fee garden design solutions for customers in Grantham, Stamford, Newark and surrounding areas. Let's see how we can help you to enjoy your garden more. Call us on 07900 224 239 or 01529 455 355.