Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

BETULA albosinensis

Image of Betula albosinensis

Jesse Saylor

Family

Betulaceae

Botanical Name

BETULA albosinensis

Plant Common Name

Chinese Red Birch

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A rather large deciduous tree that has a rounded to conical habit, the Chinese red birch is mainly grown for its ornamental bark. Bark ranges from pinkish brown to copper or orange-red and peels away in thin sheets, revealing a smooth white to gray underlayer. The outer bark layer also is covered in a white powdery bloom, especially when young. This plant is native to central and western China.

In early spring tiny flowers appear in pendulous catkins that droop from the branches. The leaves emerge simultaneously or just after the male and female catkins are displayed. The tapering oval leaves are glossy deep green and have paler undersides. Leaf edges are doubly toothed. In autumn, foliage turns yellow.

Grow the Chinese red birch in full to partial sun for best development of the canopy. Partial shade is acceptable. Any moderately fertile soil is needed, but a moist and well-drained soil ensures good performance. Use this birch as a lawn specimen or shade tree, or as a component to a grove.

Botanical variety septentrionalis, known as the northern Chinese red birch, grows slightly taller. It also displays orange to orange-brown bark and has slightly paler, dulled foliage.

Chinese red birches are not commonly grown in American landscapes, but are much more popular in Canadian and European gardens. Examples of cultivars available there include 'Bowling Green', 'China Ruby', 'Chinese Garden', 'K. Ashburner', 'Kansu' and 'Ness'.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    40'-90' / 12.2m - 27.4m

  • Width

    30'-45' / 9.1m - 13.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Fruit Color

    Bronze, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow

  • Bark Color

    White, Rose, Copper, Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No