BETULA 'Crimson Frost'
Plant Common Name
Birch, Crimson Frost Birch
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
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.
AHS Heat Zone
7 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 7
A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16
Full Sun, Partial Sun
25'-40' / 7.6m - 12.2m
12'-22' / 3.7m - 6.7m