Japanese White Birch (Betula platyphylla)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Japanese White Birch
Give a thumbs up Asian White Birch
Give a thumbs up White Birch
Give a thumbs up Yukon White Birch
Give a thumbs up Alaskan Paper Birch
Give a thumbs up Resin Birch

Botanical names:
Betula platyphylla Accepted
Betula austrosichotensis Synonym
Betula neoalaskana Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 6b
Plant Height: 30 to 40 feet
Plant Spread: 15 to 25 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Dynamic Accumulator: P (Phosphorus)
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

trunk and foliage

Photo gallery:

Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Aug 31, 2018 3:04 PM

The Asian White Birch is, of course, native to northern Asia. It is very similar to the European White Birch that also has tight white bark and sort of triangular leaves. The Asian species has larger, broader leaves that are more triangular, and the habit is not as pendulous as the European. The species name from Greek "platyphylla" means broad-leaved. It can be bred with the European White Birch to make a fertile hybrid. Like other white-barked birches, it is not tolerant of strong heat and drought. This makes it susceptible to the Bronze Birch Borer in North America that kills off such birch when about 20 to 40 years old. I have only seen this species planted at Morton Arboretum in northeast Illinois. It was once believed that the commonly planted cultivar of 'Whitespire' was a Japanese Asian White Birch from the University of Wisconsin Arboretum , but it turned out to be a Gray Birch that is native to southeast Canada & the northeast USA. The European White, Asian White, and Gray Birches can all cross with each other. The Asian White Birch has at least two varieties recognized of the B. platyphylla japonica and the B. platyphylla szechuanica.

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