Japanese Cherry Birch (Betula grossa)

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: usually 25 to 35 feet, to 60 feet
Plant Spread: 20 to 30 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Dynamic Accumulator: P (Phosphorus)
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

credit: Bostonian13

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 9, 2019 10:38 AM

This Japanese Cherry Birch is rare in cultivation. The famous Dr. Michael Dirr saw one specimen at the Arnold Arboretum in the 1990's. It is very similar to the Cherry Birch, also called Sweet or Black Birch, of the eastern USA. The lustrous dark green leaves are 2 to 4 inches long by 1 to 2 inches wide with 10 to 15 vein pairs, and turn a good yellow fall color. It has reddish-brown cherry-like bark. It has the same wintergreen aromatic scent in the stems as the American species. In Japan it grows in sheltered, woodland locations. I'm fine with it growing in arboretums in the US, but since the American Cherry Birch is present and has been grown well in the Midwest, why grow something from east Asia that is not really different and not quite as good for the US?

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