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Underplanting a Betula pendula 'Youngii'. Young's weeping birch.

CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,455

I've asked this question before and was advised that Birches have very shallow roots so thank you for that advice at the time.  I will be careful when de-turfing the area.

I'm thinking of introducing a new island bed and by doing so, incorporating a weeping birch into it.  This will stop me mowing around it which is difficult because I have to drag me and the mower through the ground-length branches, I don't like doing this.  I've also read that the tree would appreciate a good mulch so I'd like to maintain this once the work is done.

So, when I have dug out this bed, what might I grow under the weeping birch?  Does anyone have one and what have you used?

Thanks for inspiration.


  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    If the branches are ground level I would not try to grow anything under it. Around it fair enough.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,898

    I had a weeping birch in a previous garden. It was sufficiently mature that one could sit under the canopy with branches all round like curtains. Made a great den for kids to play in. 

    I had woodland style planting under there - geranium phaeums, forget me nots, bog standard hellebores, pulmonarias etc. Things which coped with dry shade. It was all early spring stuff - far too dark under there for any summer plants.

    You could probably try spring bulbs (small ones which don't need deep planting) and maybe some of the european epimediums might be ok.

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,455

    Sounds great Topbird, I have some of these already so can divide/take cuttings etc.  It is mature enough to sit under and I've toyed with the idea of a bench also.

    The branches are ground level on one side and askew on the other hogweed so I'm aiming to keep the area near the tree mulched and further out having a bit of interest when it's bare as Topbird said, spring stuff would do it.

    Thanks for the inspiration both.

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