Betula populifolia ‘Whitespire’ – Gray Birch – 15-Gallon
An old-field colonizing species, Gray Birch can tolerate poor, dry soils and warmer locations better than other species of birch but will perform better with a richer, moist soil in a coolish spot. The bark turns white as the tree matures but with a grayish cast, and does not peel off, making it a little less showy than the bark of Paper Birch. ‘Whitespire’ has a beautiful spire-like upright form, and excellent bronze birch borer resistance. Leaves are a glossy, dark green turning golden yellow in Fall. Selected and introduced in 1983 by Dr. Edward R. Hasselkus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Arboretum who thought it to be a seedling of Asian White Birch (Betula platyphylla var. japonica). We now know that ‘Whitespire’ is actually a cultivar of Gray Birch.