As the name suggests, China Ruby is a form of the Chinese red birch. It features a papery peeling orange bark, revealing coppery-brown striated new bark underneath, which adds colour to the winter garden.
It also features very long catkins in early spring, and a light summer canopy of green leaves which casts dappled shade. The leaves turn yellow in the autumn.
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China Ruby is slow-growing, and likely to reach about 5m after 10 years if grown in good conditions. It prefers slightly acidic soil, but will tolerate, chalk, clay, and damp conditions.
The species Betula albosinensis (or Betula albo-sinensis) originates from China. Many examples were collected at the start of the 20th century, a period when China was the focus of many plant-collecting expeditions from the UK and USA.