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Betula lenta

“Cherry Birch”

Betula Lenta

Common Name

“Cherry Birch”


Environment

Establishes in most well drained soils types including chalk or clay.


Foliage

Leaves are green with a yellow underside providing dappled shade. In autumn these develop into brilliant gold which are renowned for their beauty


Bark

When young, the bark is smooth and typical of Betula. As it matures it becomes black with vertical cracks and can be mistaken for cherry, hence the common names of black and cherry birch


Size

10m x 3m (height and width at 25 years)


Some trees can’t be fully appreciated until you lie down underneath them and just relax for a while looking up. Beneath this fairly unknown tree you will see the green leaves and their subtle yellow underside, shimmering in the wind. The soothing aroma of minty wintergreen from the bark and shoots will become very enjoyable and relaxing.

The lentas most striking feature is the beauty of its deep golden autumn foliage. Growing in our Hillier fields last year, we had lines of semi mature Liquid-ambers behind a field of multi-stem Betula lenta. The glorious autumn yellow against the vivid, neon red of the liquid-amber was breath taking in the afternoon sun.

Lenta are long lived, with most living for an average of 200 years. The oldest known lenta has been confirmed at over 360 years. As it matures, the bark peels off in plates, and is replaced by much darker, black cherry like bark.

Although perfect for parks and urban areas alike, Cherry birch are particularly useful in locations with high deer populations. Deer do not browse the young lenta, so can be used to form a thicket protecting other trees that deer will browse.