Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Fagales > Betulaceae > Betula > Betula pendula

Betula pendula (European white birch)

Synonyms: Betula alba var. pendula

Wikipedia Abstract

Betula pendula, commonly known as silver birch or warty birch, is a species of tree in the family Betulaceae, native to Europe and parts of Asia, though in southern Europe it is only found at higher altitudes. Its range extends into Siberia, China and southwest Asia in the mountains of northern Turkey, the Caucasus and northern Iran. It has been introduced into North America, where it is known as the European white birch, and is considered invasive in some states in USA and in parts of Canada. The tree can also be found in more temperate regions of Australia.
View Wikipedia Record: Betula pendula


Betula pendula subsp. mandshurica (Asian white birch) (Attributes)
Betula pendula subsp. pendula (Attributes)
Betula pendula subsp. szechuanica (Szechuan white birch) (Attributes)


Air Quality Improvement [1]  Low
Allergen Potential [1]  Medium-High
Carbon Capture [1]  Low
Screening - Summer [2]  Moderate
Screening - Winter [2]  Porous
Shade Percentage [1]  82 %
Temperature Reduction [1]  Medium-Low
Wind Reduction [1]  Medium-Low
Bloom Period [2]  Mid Spring
Dispersal Mode [7]  Anemochory
Drought Tolerance [2]  Low
Edible [3]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Flower Type [3]  Monoecious
Frost Free Days [2]  90 days
Fruit/Seed Abundance [2]  Medium
Fruit/Seed Begin [2]  Summer
Fruit/Seed End [2]  Summer
Growth Form [2]  Thicket Forming
Growth Period [2]  Spring, Summer
Growth Rate [2]  Rapid
Janka Hardness [4]  1200 lbf (544 kgf) Soft
Leaf Type [3]  Deciduous
Lifespan [5]  Perennial
Pollinators [3]  Wind
Propagation [2]  Bare Root, Container, Cutting, Seed
Root Depth [2]  24 inches (61 cm)
Seed Spread Rate [2]  Slow
Seed Vigor [2]  Medium
Seeds Per [2]  2399995 / lb (5291088 / kg)
Shape/Orientation [2]  Erect
Specific Gravity [8]  0.513
Structure [3]  Tree
Usage [3]  The bark is used to make drinking vessels, canoe skins, roofing tiles etc; It is waterproof, durable, tough and resinous. Only the outer bark is removed, this does not kill the tree. It is most easily removed in late spring to early summer. A pioneer species, it readily invades old fields, cleared or burnt-over land and creates conditions suitable for other woodland trees to become established. Since it is relatively short-lived and intolerant of shade, it is eventually out-competed by these trees; A tar-oil is obtained from the white bark in spring. It has fungicidal properties and is also used as an insect repellent; It makes a good shoe polish; Another report says that an essential oil is obtained from the bark and this, called 'Russian Leather' has been used as a perfume; A decoction of the inner bark is used to preserve cordage; An oil similar to Wintergreen oil (obtained from Gaultheria procumbens) is obtained from the inner bark; It is used medicinally and also makes a refreshing tea; The resin glands (the report does not say where these glands are found) are used to make a hair lotion; A brown dye is obtained from the inner bark A glue is made from the sap; Cordage can be made from the fibres of the inner bark; This inner bark can also be separated into thin layers and used as a substitute for oiled paper; The young branches are very flexible and are used to make whisks, besoms etc; They are also used in thatching; The leaves are a good addition to the compost heap, improving fermentation; Wood - soft, light, durable. It is used for a wide range of purposes including furniture, tool handles, toys and carving; A high quality charcoal is obtained from the bark. It is used by artists, painters etc; The wood is also pulped and used for making paper;
Vegetative Spread Rate [2]  None
Flower Color [2]  Brown
Foliage Color [2]  Green
Fruit Color [2]  Brown
Fall Conspicuous [2]  Yes
Flower Conspicuous [2]  Yes
Height [3]  66 feet (20 m)
Width [3]  33 feet (10 m)
Hardiness Zone Minimum [1]  USDA Zone: 3 Low Temperature: -40 F° (-40 C°) → -30 F° (-34.4 C°)
Hardiness Zone Maximum [1]  USDA Zone: 6 Low Temperature: -10 F° (-23.3 C°) → 0 F° (-17.8 C°)
Light Preference [6]  Mostly Sunny
Soil Acidity [6]  Mostly Acid
Soil Fertility [6]  Mostly Infertile
Soil Moisture [6]  Moist
Water Use [1]  High
View Plants For A Future Record : Betula pendula

Protected Areas






Europe to Russian Far East, NW. Africa; Europe to SW. & C. Asia;

External References

USDA Plant Profile



Attributes / relations provided by
1i-Tree Species v. 4.0, developed by the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station and SUNY-ESF using the Horticopia, Inc. plant database.
2USDA Plants Database, U. S. Department of Agriculture
3Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
4Wood Janka Hardness Scale/Chart J W Morlan's Unique Wood Gifts
5PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish Plants: Status, Size, Life History, Geography and Habitats, M. O. Hill, C. D. Preston & D. B. Roy, Biological Records Centre, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2004)
6ECOFACT 2a Technical Annex - Ellenberg’s indicator values for British Plants, M O Hill, J O Mountford, D B Roy & R G H Bunce (1999)
7Paula S, Arianoutsou M, Kazanis D, Tavsanoglu Ç, Lloret F, Buhk C, Ojeda F, Luna B, Moreno JM, Rodrigo A, Espelta JM, Palacio S, Fernández-Santos B, Fernandes PM, and Pausas JG. 2009. Fire-related traits for plant species of the Mediterranean Basin. Ecology 90: 1420.
Paula S. & Pausas J.G. 2013. BROT: a plant trait database for Mediterranean Basin species. Version 2013.06.
8Chave J, Coomes D, Jansen S, Lewis SL, Swenson NG, Zanne AE (2009) Towards a worldwide wood economics spectrum. Ecology Letters 12: 351-366. Zanne AE, Lopez-Gonzalez G, Coomes DA, Ilic J, Jansen S, Lewis SL, Miller RB, Swenson NG, Wiemann MC, Chave J (2009) Data from: Towards a worldwide wood economics spectrum. Dryad Digital Repository.
9Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
10Ecology of Commanster
11Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
12HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
13New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Plant-SyNZ™ database
14Ben-Dov, Y., Miller, D.R. & Gibson, G.A.P. ScaleNet 4 November 2009
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License