This rugged, cold hardy, short-lived birch from northeastern North America is useful for naturalistic plantings in its native region. Typically multi-trunked, it has gray-white, flaky bark peppered with black markings. The twiggy branches are purplish-brown. The narrowly triangular, bright green leaves are often marred by leaf miners. The foliage turns yellow in fall. Caterpillar-like, yellow-green flower catkins appear in fall, persist through winter, and lengthen in spring, providing ornament during the dormant season.
This adaptable, sun-loving tree succeeds in most acidic to neutral soils. Its susceptibility to leaf miners, borers, and winter storm damage makes it a poor choice as a featured specimen. Use it for informal plantings in soils that are too barren and dry or too damp for most other trees. (source: learn2grow.com)
Genus - Betula
Species - Populifolia
Common name - Gray Birch
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 7
Height - 15'-30' / 4.60 - 9 m
Spread - 15'-30' / 4.60 - 9 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Decorative
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Green
Seeds have an internal dormancy that can be overcome by a moist, chilling period. This treatment is called stratification. Here are the steps to stratify the seeds:
1. Soak the seeds in water overnight
2. Place the seeds in a moist material such as milled sphagnum peat, sterile soil or vermiculite . Fully drain away all of the water and place the seeds in a zip-lock bag.
3. Refrigerate the seeds for 60 days at +1-+4C (33-41F).
4. After the seeds are stratified, surface sow in a container filled with a moist, well-drained germination medium. Cover with glass or plastic and keep the container moist, but not soggy. Keep in room temperature.
5. Requires light for germination
As soon as the seeds germinate, place them under bright lights or move them to a greenhouse or cold frame.
You can sow seeds outdoors in well prepared beds in October or before the winter. Nature will do the job and will germinate in spring.
When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter.
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