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Betula utilis

McBeath is an excellent example of the Himalayan birch (Betula utilis), featuring the prized bright white bark which is so characteristic of this species.

Yellow catkins appear at the same time as the new leaves in early spring. The leaves turn yellow in the autumn.

McBeath makes a good alternative to the popular Trinity College - it is not as well known, but it has an even more compact form and arguably a purer bark colour.

McBeath birch trees for sale

  • 2-year pot-grown tree £79.00
    In a 12L pot
    Large size (3m-5m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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How to grow

McBeath is easy to grow, and being slower-growing than most of the Himalayan birches, is a good choice for smaller gardens. It will do best in a sunny position but is very cold hardy and tolerant of most soils.


This form of the Himalayan birch was grown from seed collected at an altitude of 3,000m (almost 10,000ft) in the region of Himachel Pradesh in India in the 1980s by Ron McBeath, who worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.

McBeath characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Attractive featuresAttractive tree / plantAttractive barkAttractive foliageAutumn foliage colour
  • Growth habitUpright
  • Height after 10 years3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • SunlightPrefers full sun
  • PruningNo need to prune
  • Growth rateSlow
  • Site conditionsSheltered siteOccasional flooding
  • Flowering monthMarch
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Leaf colour - autumnYellow
  • Leaf/Flower sequenceLeaves and Flowers appear together
  • BarkWhite
  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Annual cycleDeciduous

Similar varieties

  • Betula utilis
    Moonbeam is an excellent form of the Himalayan birch, with the characteristic white trunk, but much smaller than other forms of this popular species.
  • Betula utilis jacquemontii
    Trinity College
    A small attractive birch tree with bright white bark from a young age.
  • Betula ermanii
    White Chocolate
    A small fast-growing birch tree with bright white bark.