Content Detail

Due to susceptibility to bronze birch borer (BBB), Himalayan birch is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually require removal and/or replacement. Himalayan birch has yellow fall color.

  • Family (English) Birch
  • Family (botanic) Betulaceae
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium tree (25-40 feet)
  • Mature height 30-40 feet
  • Mature width 18-25 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago)
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Clay soil, Wet sites
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Open, Pyramidal
  • Growth rate Fast
  • Wildlife Game birds, Insect pollinators, Small mammals, Songbirds
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Himalayan birch is native to China.

Bark color and texture:  

The thin bark is variable on this species. It may be very white or more brownish in color.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Simple, alternate leaves are 2 to 3 inches long. The dark green leaves are oval with double serrated edges. The fall color is yellow.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

The male flowers are held in cylindrical catkins. The female flowers are also in a cylindrical structure, but are much smaller. The flowers are inconspicuous.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

The fruits are small, winged nutlets held in catkins.

Plant care: 

Avoid pruning birches in spring as they are ‘bleeders’ and will lose a great deal of sap.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Use of this tree is limited by its susceptibility to bronze birch borer. Japanese beetle is also a serious problem on this tree.


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