Silver birch tree facts

Flickr user wlcutler

A common type of birch tree found in gardens is the silver birch (Betula pendula). The silver birch is a medium-sized deciduous tree with peeling bark. The leaves flutter attractively in the breeze, especially on the weeping varieties. There are several general characteristics that apply to every silver birch tree.


The botanical name for silver birch is Betula pendula. It is also known as European birch, weeping birch and European white birch.


Silver birch grows best in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 6.


The tree will grow to be 40 to 50 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide.


Silver birch should be grown where it can receive full sun. It prefers a moist soil.


Insects to watch for include the bronze birch borer, aphids, birch skeletonizer and birch leaf miner. Other problems may be canker diseases, leaf spots and dieback.

Weeping Form

There are many varieties of silver birch that have a weeping form. They include Darlecarlica, Tristis and Youngii.