Himalayan Birch Betula utilis subsp. jacquemontii 'Jermyns'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Himalayan birch 'Jermyns'


The plant known as the Himalayan birch has a striking and elegant appearance. Its most notable feature is its bark, which is strikingly white and peels off in papery sheets. This gives the trunk a clean and bright look, often with a contrasting dark, almost black, crackled pattern near the base. Its leaves are oval to triangular, featuring a fresh green hue that turns to a golden yellow before they fall in the autumn season. The new shoots of the Himalayan birch can have a hairy texture and are sometimes sticky, providing a tactile element to the plant. The flowers, known as catkins, are long and cylindrical; the male catkins are slender and droop gracefully, while female ones are shorter and upright. They add subtle interest in springtime when they appear. Overall, this plant has a graceful and aesthetically pleasing form that makes it popular in garden landscapes where its distinctive looks can be appreciated.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Himalayan Birch, Whitebarked Himalayan Birch, Jermyns, Jacquemontii Birch

    • Common names

      Betula jacquemontii, Betula utilis var. jacquemontii

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Himalayan birch is not known to be toxic to humans. There are no well-documented toxic effects or symptoms of poisoning associated with the ingestion of the wood, leaves, or any other parts of this plant. Therefore, casual contact or accidental ingestion of small quantities is unlikely to cause harm to humans.

    • To pets

      Himalayan birch is not known to be toxic to pets such as cats and dogs. It is not listed among plants that commonly pose risks to pets. There are no specific symptoms of poisoning related to this plant since it is considered non-toxic. Ingesting parts of this tree should not result in any significant adverse health consequences for pets.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      30 feet (9 meters)

    • Spread

      20 feet (6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Betula utilis var. jacquemontii 'Jermyns', commonly known as the Himalayan birch, has a striking white bark that provides a dramatic visual element to the landscape throughout the year.
    • Seasonal Interest: With its peeling bark and catkins that appear in the spring, Himalayan birch offers seasonal interest, adding charm to gardens throughout different times of the year.
    • Wildlife Habitat: It provides a natural habitat for wildlife, offering shelter and food sources for various bird species and insects.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Himalayan birch is relatively drought-tolerant, requiring minimal irrigation during dry periods, making it suitable for xeriscaping.
    • Frost Resistance: This variant of birch is hardy and can tolerate cold conditions, making it suitable for planting in regions with harsh winters.
    • Soil Adaptability: It adapts well to a range of soil types, although it prefers moist, well-drained soils, allowing for greater flexibility in landscape design.
    • Low Maintenance: Aside from occasional pruning, the Himalayan birch requires minimal maintenance, making it an ideal choice for both public landscapes and private gardens.
    • Shade Provider: Its canopy can create a cool shade area during hot summer months, making it a practical addition to parks and large gardens.
    • Erosion Control: With its extensive root system, the Himalayan birch can help to stabilize soil and prevent erosion on sloped terrain.
    • Fall Foliage: While known for its stunning bark, the Himalayan birch also provides autumn color with its golden-yellow fall foliage, adding another layer of beauty to the plant's seasonal display.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Himalayan birch bark can be used as paper for artwork and calligraphy, providing a unique texture and aesthetic.
    • The wood of the Himalayan birch is suitable for small woodworking projects like crafting toys or decorative objects.
    • Its smooth, white bark can be used in landscape design as a natural contrast to darker foliage and structures.
    • The peeling layers of the bark can serve as kindling or fire starter due to their papery nature and ease of ignition.
    • The tree's timber, although not widely used, can be fashioned into rural furniture or simple tools.
    • The light-colored wood can be turned into veneer, which is used for paneling or in the production of containers.
    • Himalayan birch twigs are sometimes used in broom-making in traditional rural communities.
    • Birch sap harvested from the tree can be fermented to make birch wine or beer, providing a delicate and unique flavor.
    • The tree can be tapped for syrup production, similar to how maple syrup is gathered, though this practice is less common.
    • Leaf extracts from the Himalayan birch can be used as a natural dye for wool and other natural fibers, offering a range of subtle colors.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Himalayan Birch is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Himalayan Birch is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Purity: The white, peeling bark of the Himalayan Birch, which is the most common name for Betula utilis subsp. jacquemontii 'Jermyns', is often associated with purity and cleanliness, symbolizing a fresh start or new beginnings.
    • New Beginnings: As birch trees are among the first to grow back after a forest has been cleared or burned, they represent renewal and the start of a new cycle.
    • Protection: In various cultures, birch wood was used to ward off evil, and it is commonly believed to protect against negative energies.
    • Adaptability: The Himalayan Birch thrives in high altitudes and various climates, symbolizing resilience and the ability to adapt and prosper even in challenging situations.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Early Spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis subsp. jacquemontii 'Jermyns') should be watered deeply, ensuring that the water reaches the roots. During the growing season, it needs watering once or twice a week depending on the weather conditions; more frequent watering may be necessary during hot, dry periods. Typically, providing about 1-2 gallons per watering session is sufficient for young trees, while mature trees will need more. During winter or cooler months, reduce the amount of water to match the plant's lower requirements. Always check the soil moisture before watering and avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    The Himalayan Birch prefers full sun to partial shade. It thrives best when it receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day, though it can tolerate some light shade. The ideal location should have bright, unfiltered sunlight for the majority of the day to ensure strong, healthy growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Himalayan Birch does well in a wide range of temperatures but prefers cooler climates. It can survive winter temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit and can tolerate summer temperatures up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for optimal growth is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    The Himalayan Birch should be pruned to maintain its shape and remove any dead or damaged branches. Pruning should be done during late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Thin out the canopy to allow light to penetrate and air to circulate, focusing on removing any branches that cross or rub against each other. Pruning every 2 to 3 years is generally sufficient.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Himalayan birch requires well-drained, fertile soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. A mix with loam and organic matter such as compost is ideal to retain moisture and provide nutrients.

  • plantRepotting

    Himalayan birch trees do not require regular repotting as they are typically grown outdoors; however, young trees should be planted in their permanent position once they are large enough to handle.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Himalayan birch prefers moderate to high humidity but is adaptable to various conditions; ensuring good air circulation is important for its health.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Not suitable for indoor growth; requires outdoor conditions.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade, protect from extreme winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Himalayan birch (Betula utilis subsp. jacquemontii 'Jermyns') starts its life as a seed, which requires stratification through winter cold to germinate properly. Upon sprouting in the spring, the seedling grows rapidly in favorable conditions, developing into a young tree with characteristic peeling white bark and serrated green leaves. As it matures, it undergoes secondary growth, increasing both in height and girth; the tree can reach up to 15-20 meters tall. Throughout its adulthood, which can span several decades, it produces catkins: the male catkins release pollen, while the female catkins develop into small winged seeds that disperse in the wind during autumn. Ideally, these seeds will find a suitable environment to germinate and begin a new life cycle. The Himalayan birch may live for up to 80 years, with individual specimens sometimes living longer under optimal conditions.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early Spring

    • The most popular method of propagating Betula utilis subsp. jacquemontii, commonly known as the Himalayan birch, is through seed. The best time to sow seeds is in the autumn. This allows the seeds to stratify naturally during the winter months, which is necessary for their germination. Clean seeds should be scattered thinly on the surface of a well-drained, moist seed-starting mix and gently pressed into the surface. They are light-dependent germinators and thus should not be covered with soil. It is important to keep the mixture moist but not waterlogged. Once the seedlings have grown strong enough, typically in the spring, they can be transplanted into individual pots or their final outdoor location.