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Whitebarked Himalayan Birch Betula jacquemontii

Previously known as:

  • Betula utilus var. jacquemontii
Phonetic Spelling
BET-yoo-luh jack-MONT-ee-eye
Description

Betula jacquemontii, or Jacquemontii Birch Tree, is an upright, pyramidal tree typically grown as an ornamental and known for its bright white bark. Colorful yellow fall foliage provide fall and winter interest. Betula is Latin for birch and describes a genus of about 60 species of deciduous trees and shrubs found in many gardens and landscapes throughout the northern hemisphere. Jacquemontii is a variety of Betula utilis and is native to the western Himalayas (Kashmir to central Nepal). It is most noted for its exceptionally white bark. Technically the main differences between the variety and the species are that the variety has fewer vein pairs per leaf (7-9 pairs for the variety and 10-14 pairs for the species) and whiter bark. Although bark color can be variable, the bark from this variety is considered to be the whitest found on any birch and is sometimes commonly called white-barked Himalayan birch.

Jacquemontii is best grown in moist, acidic, sandy or rocky, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Best foliage color occurs in full sun; however, it casts a light shade into the area it is planted in so would be a great tree for a shade garden. This tree does best in cool northern climates where summer temperatures rarely exceed 75 degrees F. and where root zones are generally covered with snow throughout the winter. Keep the tree consistently moist and consider using soaker hoses and bark mulches to keep the root zones cool and moist. It needs little pruning, but if necessary, you can prune during the dormant season. Do not prune in winter or spring when the sap is running because it will bleed.

Birches are considered a "pioneer" species and, thus, tends to grow quickly when young. Tiny monoecious (male and female) flowers appear in early spring in separate catkins on the same tree. Greenish female flowers are followed by drooping cone-like fruits containing numerous small winged seeds that typically mature in late summer.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

This plant does not tolerate heat and humidity. It is not recommended for planting south of USDA Zone 7. If stressed, birches can become vulnerable to the bronze birch borer which infects and kills trees. Aphids, Japanese beetles, leaf miner and birch skeletonizer may also occur. Watch for leaf spot problems. The plant has shallow roots and is often found to be short lived.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#deciduous#fall color#yellow#full sun#white bark#tree#winter interest#birch#provides shade
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#deciduous#fall color#yellow#full sun#white bark#tree#winter interest#birch#provides shade
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Betula
    Species:
    jacquemontii
    Family:
    Betulaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Paper is made from the inner bark.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western Himalayas and Nepal
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Description:
    Female flowers are followed by drooping cone-like fruits containing numerous small winged seeds that typically mature in early autumn.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Male flowers are yellowish-brown and female flowers are green. Tiny monoecious flowers appear in late spring in separate catkins on the same tree: yellowish-brown male flowers in drooping catkins (3 to 5 inches long) and greenish female flowers in much smaller, upright catkins (to 1.5 inches long).
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Doubly Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Yellow-green to green leaves (to 2 to 3 inches long) turn bright golden yellow in fall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    White
    Surface/Attachment:
    Peeling
    Bark Description:
    Noted for its pure white bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree