Jun 03, 2015 – New Products – by Mike Drescher
Betula platyphylla ‘Szechuanica’
Szechuan Birch/Asian White Birch
Native to the Sichuan Province of China, Szechuan Birch or Asian White Birch is a fast growing selection with an upright, loose open conical form reaching 40’ high and 25-30’ wide. The young bark is honey amber to brown in color and matures to a chalky white on older trunks and branches. The trunk is marked by horizontal lenticels and black brown triangles at branch bases. The bark does not exfoliate like that of river birch. Spring brings yellow and green catkins which are quickly followed by glossy blue-green foliage accentuating the white bark. In autumn the leaves turn a bright yellow gold and remain on the tree longer in comparison to other birch species.
Szechuan Birch performs best in full sun to partial shade locations in moist well-drained, slightly acidic soils and is drought tolerant once established. Though susceptible to bronze birch borer and leaf miner damage, these pests are easily controlled with the application of a systemic insecticide twice a year.
Landscape uses are as a specimen tree, grove or woodland planting. It works well in combinations with azalea, rhododendron, holly, hydrangea, itea, clethra, fothergilla, viburnum, hosta, astilbe, geranium, heuchera, and many other shade tolerant plants and offers year round interest in the landscape.