Albo-sinensis ‘Septentrionalis’, more commonly known as Chinese red barked birch, is a stand out favourite of the Birch family. The peeling bark of this medium sized tree is anything from honey coloured through cinnamon and into rich maroon and although a beautiful feature tree in any garden it is also particularly good for copse planting where the variation in bark colour makes for a splendid display. These translucent, curling sheets of bark provide year round interest and create a vivid tapestry against the cream, pink and grey bark beneath.
Suited to exposed, inland sites and tolerant of most except extreme soil types this tree will do well in full sun to partly shaded spots. The tree itself is slightly conical and elegant in form, casting only dappled shade. Yellowy brown catkins appear in spring along with pale green leaves which turn crisp yellow in the autumn. In its single stem form expect a height and spread of 8 x 4 metres in 20 years.
AKA Northern Chinese red Birch, Chinese red birch, Western Chinese red Birch, Betula albo-sinensis Septentrionalis
When planting Birch trees, such as the Chinese Red Barked Birch tree, it is important to prepare the planting area well. Pot grown birch trees can be planted at any time of the year. You will need to carry out the following to prepare your planting site.
Firstly, remove all weeds and grass within a metre of your desired planting hole then dig a hole as deep as your root mass and approximately 1.5x as wide. We recommend digging a square hole as this encourages the roots to grow straight as opposed to around inside the hole. To help your tree establish more effectively, we advise applying root grow (sprinkle in the hole for pot grown trees), especially if you have poor soil. Gently loosen the roots and place into the planting hole.
Using 50% of the original soil and 50% compost, fill in the hole and firm around gently. Make sure not to bank the soil up around the collar of the tree as this can cause problems. We highly recommend planting birch trees using a stake and tie kit to make sure the roots are well anchored. To see how to use a tree stake and tie, watch our informational how to videos.
If you’re planting in dry weather, water well and regularly for the first few months. The same goes for spring and summer planting. Make sure to keep an eye on your young tree and increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If you’re planting in autumn, you may only need to water your tree a little. Unlike other species, birch trees would rather be in wet soil than dry. We also stock a range of irrigation kits, suitable for a variety of planting schemes.
Once planted, it is important to keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons. Using a glyphosate based weed killer or installing mulch matting and bark chips will aid in this. Do not simply mow the grass around the area as this will only encourage it to grow more vigorously. If you know your area is prone to rabbits, we would advise using a rabbit guard.
One of the key features of many birch trees is the exfoliating white bark. To keep your tree looking its best you can wash the bark, using a pressure washer (on a gentle setting); garden hose or slightly soapy water.
Established birch trees do not require pruning and they do not take well to hard pruning. Hard pruning leads to increased light penetration of the roots which in turn results in increased soil temperature and decreased moisture levels. Simply remove the lateral shoots to maintain a clear trunk and prune any diseased or damaged branches. Pruning should be carried out in late summer to mid-winter. Birch trees bleed heavily at all other times of the year, especially late winter.
Most deliveries are made within a week of placing the order. All trees are carefully packed by our experienced team, with many despatched to our tried and tested couriers within 24 hours (please allow up to 10 days). There's no need to be in to receive your trees and you can request where they are left via the checkout.
There is a slightly longer timescale on pleached and mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) because we group orders together by geographic area for specialist delivery - we will contact these customers to notify them of the delivery date and whether the delivery driver needs assistance.
Gift trees and those required by a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure, although we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.
Our nursery is a busy despatch centre, so please make an appointment to collect or view trees. For collections, despatch charges will be refunded.
1 small tree (most trees with a height under 1.5 metres) : £7.95 + vat
1 medium tree (most trees 1.5-2 metres in height) or 2-4 small trees: £9.95 + vat
2+ medium trees or 5+ small trees: £12.95 + vat
1-4 large trees (trees too large to fit in a box): £19.95 + vat
Mature, pleached or 5+ large trees: Cost is calculated in the checkout process and varies by postcode. You can buy additional trees with no increase in delivery cost.
The above prices exclude the Scottish Highlands, where delivery starts from £24.95 + vat and is calculated in the checkout process.
Our courier charges are not viable for just one or two trees, but if you have a larger requirement then please do speak to us to see if we can find a solution.
The product table gives the sizes and forms offered for this variety, along with photos you can enlarge (these are only a guideline as all plants are unique so vary slightly). Below are definitions of various forms, which refer to the shape of the tree defined by the pruning it has received. For more information, please contact us.
Single Stem / Pruned and shaped: Classic shaped tree with a single stem that has had pruning to help create a beautiful, natural shape.
Top grafted: A height noted next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Top grafted trees do not require complicated pruning and are ideal for small spaces.
Multi Stem: A multi stem tree is has two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system. Take care to buy a true multi-stem like all ours and not those that are 3 saplings in a pot to cheaply imitate them.
Feathered: A feathered tree has branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.
Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.
Climber: A plant that is a natural climber and will be delivered usually running up a bamboo cane, ready to position in the garden.
Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branch), which supports a branched crown. Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height.
Standard either 6-10cm or 8-10cm girth, approximately 2.5-3.0m in height
Premium Standard 10-12cm girth, approximately 3.0-3.5m in height
Heavy Standard 12-14cm girth, approximately 3.5-4.5m in height
Extra Heavy Standard 14-16cm girth approximately 4.0-6m in height
|Plant Specification||Form||Supplied Size||Root type||Price||Quantity Qty|
|Pruned & Shaped Tree||150-200cm||10L pot||£49.99 (ex VAT)|
|Premium Standard Tree, 10-12cm girth||approx 3.0-3.5m||45L pot||£169.99 (ex VAT)|
|Heavy Standard Tree, 12-14cm girth||approx 3.5-4.5m||45L pot||£189.99 (ex VAT)|
|Extra Heavy Standard Tree, 14-16cm girth||approx 4.5-6.0m||45L pot||£219.99 (ex VAT)|