Silver Birch are by far Melbourne’s most popular tree. They are easy
to grow and if properly looked after they will grow quickly for the
first few years with growth of up to 6ft per year. Silver Birch are
very attractive in all seasons with soft green lacy foliage creating
dapple shade in the summer. In the autumn the foliage turns gold and
in winter you have a brilliant white trunk with red hanging
Ultimately birches don’t get too large when compared with Elms,
Oaks, Ash or Liquidambar nor are their roots overly aggressive, they
are quite shallow and generally don’t go for the pipes. Silver Birch
can be used as a specimen or they can be planted in a clump of 3-5
trees. The advantage of clump planting is that multiple white trunks
have a far bigger impact than a single tree trunk and when
birches are clumped close together the competition between the trees
stops them from becoming too large.
Silver Birches are not an expensive tree and they lend themselves
Some mass planting ideas are as, an avenue or screen along a fence. Plant birch trees 2-3
metres apart. Ultimately they are a long lived tree that doesnt grow too big, they
allow gardens and lawns to flourish beneath them and they allow plenty of dapple shade in
through the summer and all of the winter sun as they are deciduous.
The secret of growing good fast growing silver birch is to select
young healthy trees that havent been in pots for years, plant them with no root
disturbance, have at least 4ft of grass free, mulched or cultivated garden
bed around each tree, it should be well drained, mound up the bed of soil if the soil is
Keep the area around the birch free of grass and use plenty of
water in the middle of summer and fertilise often with small doses of complete fertiliser.
Many trees and shrubs go in and out of fashion, the Silver Birch
is not a fashion item. It is an elegant tree that adds a touch of class and beauty to any
landscape. The presence of Silver Birch in the garden does not date the garden.