Botanical Name: Betula ermanii
Species: B. ermanii
Synonyms : B. incisa. B. shikokiana.
Common Names: Erman’s birch,Gold Birch
Habitat: Betula ermanii is native to N.E. Asia – China, Japan. It is an extremely variable species and can be found in Northeast China, Korea, Japan, and Russian Far East (Kuril Islands, Sakhalin, Kamchatka).It grows on mountains all over Japan.
Betula ermanii is a bushy deciduous medium-sized Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a fast rate. Sometimes it is multi-stemmed, with peeling cream bark on the trunk, papery brown bark on the branches; coarsely toothed, ovate leaves turn yellow in autumn; male catkins open with the leaves.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.
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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes wet soils. Shade tolerant. A very polymorphic species, it hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The young growth in spring is subject to damage by late frosts. A colonizer of poor soils and cleared woodlands, it tolerates very poor soils. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.
Medicinal Uses:…Vulnerary. The bark is used to bandage wounds.
The tree colonizes poor soils and cleared woodlands in the wild. This makes it suitable for use as a pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands. It is a quite short-lived species, but grows fairly quickly and creates suitable conditions for more permanent trees to become established. Because its seedlings do not grow well in shady conditions, the birch is eventually out-competed by the other woodland trees.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.