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BETULA 'Crimson Frost'

Image of Betula 'Crimson Frost'

Family

Betulaceae

Botanical Name

BETULA 'Crimson Frost'

Plant Common Name

Birch, Crimson Frost Birch

Special Notice

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

General Description

Not only does the attractive white bark dazzle year 'round, the Crimson Frost birch provides magnificent burgundy-red to purple foliage from spring to autumn. This cultivar is a hybrid, derived from a cross between Betula platyphylla var. szechuanica and B. pendula ‘Purpurea’. It attains a rather narrow, pyramidal habit at maturity.

In early spring, drooping flower clusters called catkins dangle from the naked branches. Male and female flowers occur in separate catkins on the same tree. Once wind pollinated, female types develop winged seeds that scatter by late summer. Just after flowering, the reddish new leaves emerge, maturing to deeper burgundy-purple. The leaf blade is spade-shaped with jagged edges. In autumn the foliage blushes a combination of red, yellow and orange before dropping.

'Crimson Frost' is best grown only in regions with cool summers. It excels in full sun, but appreciates afternoon shade in areas where summers are warmer or droughts may occur more regularly. Plant this tree in average to wet, well-drained soils. Mulch the root zone to ensure the soil remains cool and moist. Any pruning is best delayed until early fall to avoid heavy sap bleeding. Use the Crimson Frost birch as a focal point in any garden bed. It's particularly pretty when surrounded by low, sprawling evergreen groundcovers. Some nurseries offer the tree as a multi-trunked specimen. Wherever planted, this birch tree deserves a prominent location for admiration in all four seasons.

'Crimson Frost' is somewhat susceptible to birch borer problems.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    25'-40' / 7.6m - 12.2m

  • Width

    12'-22' / 3.7m - 6.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Tan

  • Fruit Color

    Bronze, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Red, Orange

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Spotted/Mottled

  • Bark Color

    White

  • 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, Mixed Border, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No