Meet 12 Species and Cultivars of Birch Trees

  • 01 of 13

    Members of the Betula Genus

    Birch trees
    mobinovyc / Pixabay / CC By 0

    Birch trees belong to the genus Betula and are classified as part of the Betulaceae family. Their beautiful bark and leaves make them a common choice for the landscape. They are water lovers, which can be great if you have soil that tends to be moist. However, the roots might head for your plumbing pipes if a large tree is planted too close to your house. Don't let this deter you, though; these are magnificent trees and should definitely be considered for inclusion in your landscape.

    Continue to 2 of 13 below.
  • 02 of 13

    Bog Birch

    Bog Birch in Autumn
    Western Arctic National Parklands/Flickr/CC 2.0
    • Scientific Name: Betula pumila
    • Other Common Names: Swamp birch, glandular birch, dwarf birch, resin birch
    • Native to: North America
    • USDA Zones: 2-9 
    • Size:
    • Exposure:

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  • 03 of 13

    Cherry Birch

    Sweet birch tree
    Stephen Robson / Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Betula lenta 
    • Other Name(s): Black birch, sweet birch, mahogany birch, Virginia roundleaf birch or spice birch 
    • Preferred Hardiness Zones: Zones 3-8 
    • Size: 40-70' tall and 35-35' wide 
    • Exposure: Full sun-part shade  

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  • 04 of 13

    Downy Birch

    Downy birch
    Katsuhiro Yamanashi / Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Betula pubescens 
    • Other Name(s): Hairy birch, white birch, American white birch 
    • Preferred Hardiness Zones: Zones 2-9. May grow in Zone 1 
    • Size: About 40' tall and 35' wide 
    • Exposure: Full sun-part shade 

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  • 05 of 13

    Dwarf Birch

    Dwarf Birch
    MAKY_OREL / Pixabay / CC By 0
    • Latin Name: Betula nana 
    • Other Name(s): Bog birch, Arctic birch 
    • Preferred Hardiness Zones: Zones 1-8 
    • Size: 6"-3' tall 
    • Exposure: Full sun-part shade 

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  • 06 of 13

    Himalayan Birch

    Himalayan Birch
    John Lord / Flickr / CC By 2.0
    • Latin Name: Betula jacquemontii. Also written by some as Betula utilis var 'Jacquemontii' 
    • Other Name(s): White-barked Himalayan birch, Jacquemonti birch 
    • Preferred Hardiness Zones: Zones 4-7 
    • Size: 30-50' tall and about 20' wide 
    • Exposure: Full sun, can take some light shade 

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  • 07 of 13

    Japanese White Birch

    Japanese White Birch
    View Photos/a.collectionRF / Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Betula platyphylla 'Japonica'
    • Other Name: Asian White Birch 
    • Preferred Hardiness Zones: Zones 3-8 
    • Size: 40-50' tall and 15-30' wide 
    • Exposure: Full sun-part shade 

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  • 08 of 13

    Paper Bark Birch

    Paper Bark Birch
    Plant Image Library / Flickr / CC By 2.0
    • Latin Name: Betula papyrifera 
    • Other Name(s): Canoe birch, white birch 
    • Preferred Hardiness Zones: 2-7 
    • Size: 45-70' tall and 20-35' wide 
    • Exposure: Full sun, some light shade
    • Growing profile for the paper bark birch

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  • 09 of 13

    River Birch

    River birch
    F. D. Richards / Flickr/ CC By 2.0

    Latin Name: Betula nigra 
    Other Name(s): Red Birch 
    Preferred Hardiness Zones: Zones 4-9 
    Size: 40-70' tall and 40-60' wide 
    Exposure: Full sun-part shade
    Growing profile for the river birch

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  • 10 of 13

    Silver Birch

    Silver Birch
    Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors/ Flickr/ CC By 2.0

    Latin Name: Betula pendula. Also Betula verrucosa 
    Other Name(s): European birch, European white birch 
    Preferred Hardiness Zones: 2-7. Can be grown in 8 and 9, but will have a shorter life. 
    Size: 40-80' tall and 10-25' wide. Will vary depending on the cultivar chosen. 
    Exposure: Full sun  

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  • 11 of 13

    Water Birch

    Water birch
    Andrey Zharkikh/ Flickr/ CC By 2.0

    Latin Name: Betula occidentalis. Also Betula fontinalis 
    Other Names: Western birch, red birch, river birch, black birch, Western red birch 
    Preferred Hardiness Zones: Zones 3-7 
    Size: Shrubby form. Usually up to 25' tall, sometimes to 40'. 
    Exposure: Full sun-part shade  

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  • 12 of 13

    Weeping Birches

    Young's Weeping Birch is one variety of weeping trees (Betula pendula 'Youngii')
    This is 'Youngii'. Wlcutler/Flickr/CC 2.0

    Weeping birches are different varieties of Silver birch, or Betula pendula. Exact details such as zones will depend on the particular variety.

     Common varieties include:

    • Curly birch ('Carelica')
    • Cutleaf weeping European birch ('Gracilis')
    • Golden cloud weeping birch ('Golden Cloud')
    • Purple weeping birch ('Purpurea')
    • Swedish birch ('Dalecarlica' or 'Laciniata')
    • Tristis weeping birch ('Tristis')
    • Young's weeping birch ('Youngii') (pictured)

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  • 13 of 13

    Yellow Birch

    Yellow birch
    Cora Niele / Getty Images

    Latin Name: Betula alleghaniensis 
    Other Name(s): Swamp birch, curly birch, gold birch, hard birch 
    Preferred Hardiness Zones: Zones 3-7 
    Size: 50-80' tall and 30-50' wide 
    Exposure: Full sun-part shade