Monday, February 18, 2013

Birch Crimson Frost

Fall color of the 'Crimson Frost' birch.

I am always one looking for something with more than just green leaves and grey bark. In a small yard, everything has to do double duty. A lot of my small trees provide fruit for either me or the birds. Others provide screening or habitat for birds, for example the spruce holding down the corner of my yard as the alleyway wraps my property. It should not be a surprise that I would want a birch. A native river birch might be an obvious choice. There is a lot of yellow in my yard and as borrowed views to my yard.

Crimson Frost is a hybrid birch with some bronze birch borer resistance in its genetics crossed and crossed again with such specimens as Betula platyphylla var. szechuanica and Betula pendula ‘Purpurea’. It is suitable for zone 4 through zone 7. It should be noted it needs reliable snow cover and dislikes extreme heat, although mine grew the most in this last year of unusually high temperatures than it ever has. Like all birch, pruning should be done in its dormant phase. I do water it even as an established young tree. I expect it to only attain a height of 20' to 25' and haven't seen any over around 20' tall. I staked mine as a young tree, as its pendula bloodlines make for a very droopy specimen until well-established.

Its beautiful tan bark and deep burgundy summer foliage makes for a beautiful specimen tree. Its graceful form during winter is also beautiful.

This birch also looks great against my pink house!

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