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Betula jacquemontii, or Jacquemontii Birch Tree, is an upright, pyramidal tree typically grown as an ornamental and known for its bright white bark. Colorful yellow fall foliage provide fall and winter interest. Betula is Latin for birch and describes a genus of about 60 species of deciduous trees and shrubs found in many gardens and landscapes throughout the northern hemisphere. Jacquemontii is a variety of Betula utilis and is native to the western Himalayas (Kashmir to central Nepal). It is most noted for its exceptionally white bark. Technically the main differences between the variety and the species are that the variety has fewer vein pairs per leaf (7-9 pairs for the variety and 10-14 pairs for the species) and whiter bark. Although bark color can be variable, the bark from this variety is considered to be the whitest found on any birch and is sometimes commonly called white-barked Himalayan birch.
Jacquemontii is best grown in moist, acidic, sandy or rocky, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Best foliage color occurs in full sun; however, it casts a light shade into the area it is planted in so would be a great tree for a shade garden. This tree does best in cool northern climates where summer temperatures rarely exceed 75 degrees F. and where root zones are generally covered with snow throughout the winter. Keep the tree consistently moist and consider using soaker hoses and bark mulches to keep the root zones cool and moist. It needs little pruning, but if necessary, you can prune during the dormant season. Do not prune in winter or spring when the sap is running because it will bleed.
Birches are considered a "pioneer" species and, thus, tends to grow quickly when young. Tiny monoecious (male and female) flowers appear in early spring in separate catkins on the same tree. Greenish female flowers are followed by drooping cone-like fruits containing numerous small winged seeds that typically mature in late summer.
Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:
This plant does not tolerate heat and humidity. It is not recommended for planting south of USDA Zone 7. If stressed, birches can become vulnerable to the bronze birch borer which infects and kills trees. Aphids, Japanese beetles, leaf miner and birch skeletonizer may also occur. Watch for leaf spot problems. The plant has shallow roots and is often found to be short lived.
5064 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg, PA
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Seth H. Richards
Locally owned and Family Operated Since 1932.
Dr. John Richards established Richards Tree Farm in Middle Smithfield, PA as an evergreen farm. Building on those roots, his Great Grandson, Seth Hastings Richards, has grown the farm into a full service Garden Center and Landscape installation business for the past 25 years. The farm specializes in Organic Gardening, Edible, Native, and Unique plants.