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Betula Pendula Purpurea also known as the Purple Birch Tree, has been grown in the UK since the 1870’s and is an excellent landscape tree for large and small gardens.
The birch tree is native to mountainous regions of Europe and Asia. Betula Pendula Purpurea was first discovered in the garden of a French nursery worker in 1873, and quickly became a favourite tree for landscaping because of its distinctive purple foliage. The serrated, small leaves are a rich reddish-purple when they first emerge in the spring, and then turn a purple tinged with dark green in the summer, before becoming purple with shades of bronze in the autumn. The contrast between the dark leaves and white bark is dramatic throughout. The silver-white bark and drooping twigs and branches provide visual interest in your garden during the winter.
Thanks to its mountain region origin, Betula Pendula Purpurea is winter-hardy throughout the UK. Over a period of 20 years it will slowly grow to a height of 6 metres and spread of 3 metres, but can reach as high as 12 metres with a spread of 7 metres after 50 years.
The purple leaved birch tree will grow happily in clay, sand or loam soils, although it does best in sandy soil. It prefers consistently moist, well-drained soil, but will tolerate short dry periods. Betula pendula purpurea will do well in a sunny or semi-shade spot, in a sheltered or exposed position.
Betula pendula purpurea is a lovely tree for a variety of landscaping purposes. With its slow growth habit it can fit into a smaller garden, where its year-round interest will make it a reliable performer. It does not cast more than a dappled shade in summer, allowing for the planting of a mixed border underneath it. It is often used as a specimen tree in the middle of a lawn, as its dramatically coloured leaves and contrasting silver-white bark, as well as its graceful weeping form, create an attractive picture year-round.
On a larger country property, there are many places to use Betula pendula purpurea. A grove of purple leaved birch trees would make a distinctive focal point in the landscape, and it is a good choice for including in a wildlife garden or a woodland garden.
The graceful form, attractive silver-white bark, and deep purple leaves of Betula pendula purpurea make it a great choice for UK and Irish gardeners looking for consistent colour and year-round interest!
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