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Silver Birches

Hi, complete novice here hoping for advise. We have a smallish suburban garden that is overlooked at the back, and our gardener has suggested planting three silver birches in a row to help screen and add a bit of interest and height to the garden.

I do love silver birches and think they are beautiful in all seasons, but worry that they will grow too tall and will shade the garden too much in summer. Will they dwarf everything else in the garden? Are they hard to keep to a manageable size? The garden faces SE and I'm afraid I have no clue on soil types etc.

Any guidance gratefully accepted, thanks!


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,159

    Silver Birches can be pollarded to make multistem trees.  I would plant one of the ones with exceptional bark in winter, such as "grayswood ghost" There are also weeping type that would make a smaller tree.

    Last edited: 14 February 2018 12:52:53

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  • Silver Birches really are lovely trees and should certainly do the job for you, but they are vigorous

    growers. they need keeping an eye on and the ones l have I have to prune every two years.

    I have one major specimen on my front garden and it gives the whole front area stature.

    A couple of flowering cherries could also look good in your space.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,069

    Check eventual heights and building distances.  Silver birches get very tall but have shallow roots and can topple in strong winds.  They also produce masses of pollen to which some people have strong allergic reactions.

    If you think about perspective and the height of neighbouring buildings and where you will be sitting or standing in the garden you don't need anything that tall to give your privacy.  Have a look at forms of rowan which will will give a light canopy as well as attract wildlife to the blossom and berries.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,987

    As Obelixx says, there are some lovely Rowans. You might also consider an Ameliancher or Crab apple.

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