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Birch (Betula) is a genus of tree with around 60 different varieties that grow in differing climates around the world, 11 of which are on the Threatened Species list. The most common varieties include the Himalayan Birch, Silver Birch and Weeping Birch. 

Most birches are characterised by distinctive peeling bark which has a variety of textures and shades of colour, the appearance of the bark often is the feature that gives the species its common names.  

Birch have light green leaves that are roughly triangular in shape with single or double serrated edges turning bright yellow in early autumn before falling off in late autumn/winter and coming back the following spring. It has catkins that appear from April to May.  

Where to site your Birch 

Birches are fast-growing usually medium-sized trees so need room to grow either as a standalone feature in the garden where you can appreciate the bark or at the back of the border with other complimentary plants. 

How to grow and look after your birch 

Most birches are water lovers, which is great if you have soil that tends to be moist. They are adaptable trees and generally tolerant of exposed and windy sites, dry or wet conditions and even occasional water-loggingHowever they do prefer a moist but well-drained soil in full sun or light dappled shade. 

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