Clump birch trees are extraordinarily striking trees with their white trunks and golden leaves in the autumn. They naturally grow in wet, swampy areas where they can get abundant sunlight. In a landscaped yard, they are very tolerant of most soil and climatic conditions, but do require moisture during the summer months. In a controlled environment with adequate watering and fertilization, the clump birch will grow three to five feet a year. The trees can be planted as seedlings and will start to turn white when they are a few years old. A well cared for birch will last for many years.
The most prolific birches are the European White Birches with their classic white trunk. They do best in Climate zones two through nine. They can grow to over sixty feet tall. In its natural swampy environment, the birch requires little care. In a drier yard environment it needs substantial watering, particularly if it is planted in a well-draining soil. Even though it will grow in any soil, use a sandy, clay, rocky mix for best results. Add organic materials such as compost or special fertilizers. Lay down a thick layer of mulch to reduce stress on the roots from summer heat and soil moisture loss.
The Paper BIrch grows prolifically in the northern states. It has a classic white trunk where the bark peels into sheets, which is how it derives its name. The Yellow BIrch can be planted in zones three through eight and will grow to about eighty feet tall. Yellow birches require less sunlight and have a yellowish trunk. The Sweet Birch will grow to sixty feet tall and needs full sunlight. Sweet birches make excellent shade trees. The Red Bark Birch has a beautiful cinnamon red bark and tends to do best in slightly warmer climates, zones four through nine. And the River Birch also does well in the warmer climates and make excellent shade trees. The Water BIrch and the Grey Birch are smaller trees. Together these make excellent border trees and provide shade and color to your property.