Birch - White Stem Birch

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White Stem Birch

Botanical name :Betula utilis var, jacquemontii

Irish Name:Beithe

Description:A superb upright deciduous tree renowned for its dazzling white stems that look great all year. Green Summer foliage changes to opulent gold in Autumn.

History and folklore:Birch began to grow in Ireland following the last ice age, the seeds began to enter Ireland by land bridges and soon birch wood dominated the Irish landscape. The birch’s seeds germinate easily in open sites so they can colonize cut away bogs or any open space easily. The birch was ranked as commoner of the wood in the Bretha Comaithchesa- the laws of the neighbourhood. Some towns in Ireland named after the Birch are Glenbeigh in Co.Kerry and Currabeha in Co.Cork. Beith, which is the Irish for birch is the name for B in the Ogham alphabet. There is a lot of folklore associated with the birch tree .Cribs for babies were made from birch wood to offer protection from all things evil. Birch is said to be disliked by the fairies.

Uses:Birch twigs which were tied to a pole with some string were used to make garden brooms. These brooms are the type used by witches in fairy tales. Birch bark was used to tan leather. Native Americans used the waterproof bark to make canoes and clothes. Today the birch timber is most often used to make plywood. It can be turned and made into things like small cooking implements and it’s great for firewood.

Planting information:The Birch tree likes any good garden soil. Ideal for small gardens

Approximate height when delivered:6ft – 1.8m

Mature height and spread:Mature height in 20 years is 6m x 2.5m spread