The native silver birch is graceful tree with an open crown and dropping branches. The white bark is shed in papery patches to reveal pink tinged under-bark which matures to white again over time. The leaves are heart shaped and delicate, they do not form a dense canopy and allow enough light through for woodland flowers to grow beneath.
The silver birch is an important part of the ecosystem and is host to many insect and bird species. The birch is also an excellent pioneer plant that will grow and improve poor soil. Avoid planting near buildings or paving as shallow roots can be a nuisance.