The Tree Center

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Renaissance Reflection® Birch

Betula papyrifera 'Renci' (PP# 12,768)

Product Details Price Quantity
5 Gallon $129.50
Ships immediately

How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

The Renaissance Reflection® Birch tree is a selected form of the native white or paper birch, which has pure white bark on its tall, graceful trunk. This tree grows up to 6 feet a year, and within 10 years it will be about 35 feet tall, with a pyramidal crown 20 feet across. It is perfect as a specimen on a lawn, especially in newer gardens, and most important of all, this variety is highly resistant to the deadly bronze birch borer, which without chemical control almost always kills white birch within a few years, especially in warmer zones.

  • Beautiful white bark glows across your garden
  • Beautiful golden yellow fall leaves
  • Grows up to 6 feet a year
  • Highly resistant to the deadly bronze birch borer
  • Grows well in all the coldest zones

Grow the Renaissance Reflection® Birch in full sun, on moist, well-drained soil. It usually prefers acid soils, but this rugged selection is tolerant of alkaline soils, clay, wet soil, and salt spray and salt-contaminated soil too. It is very hardy, surviving in zone 2 and growing well even in zone 7, where other forms of this tree do badly. Although tolerant of borer, other less-important pests are possible, but not deadly. Avoid dry soil and water regularly during dry conditions.

Plant Hardiness Zones 2-7
Mature Width 20-30
Mature Height 50
Soil Conditions Moist, Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Full Sun
Drought Tolerance Not Drought Tolerant
Zones 2-7

Older gardeners will remember the days when gardens in colder regions commonly had graceful white birch trees standing on the lawns. Their glowing white bark shone out like no other tree, and their golden yellow fall leaves were a highlight of the garden year. Sadly, they are rarely seen today, victims of the turning away from pesticides. That meant the chemical treatment for the bronze birch borer, a destructive insect pest, was discontinued, and the trees soon died, to be replaced by something else. But really, there is nothing else that has such gorgeous bark, and the paper birch, which can grow up to 6 feet a year, was perfect for a new garden, because you would have a good-sized tree so quickly. All that has changed, because there is a re-birth of this tree, with the Renaissance Reflection® Birch, a beautiful variety of white birch that is highly resistant to birch borer. Now, without any chemicals, you can have this graceful tree standing like a slender sentinel on your lawn and be enjoying its beauty again. As well, this is one of the most winter-hardy of all deciduous trees, surviving even in zone 2, and thriving in all the coldest parts of the country. Welcome back, white birch.

Growing the Renaissance Reflection® Birch

Size and Appearance

The Renaissance Reflection Birch is a slender, upright deciduous tree with a tall, straight trunk, growing rapidly, between 4 and 6 feet a year when young, to be about 35 feet tall in 10 years. Ultimately it will reach around 50 feet, with a spread of about 25 feet. The crown is slender and pyramidal, with a tall section of clear trunk developing quickly. Young twigs are chestnut brown. On young branches and stems less than 2 or 3 inches in diameter the bark is reddish-brown, so if your new tree has a brown trunk, don’t worry, it will soon become white. On the trunk and older branches, the bark is snow white, and remains that way throughout the tree’s life. This variety does not shed its bark very much, but sometimes patches of park peel away, revealing salmon-pink new bark, which soon becomes white.

The leaves are oval, with pronounced serrated edges and a pointed tip. They are 3 to 6 inches long, and 1½ to 3 inches wide, and they hang gracefully from the branches, often in pairs, fluttering and rustling in the slightest breeze. They are dark green on both sides, and they turn a gorgeous, glowing yellow in fall.

Using the Renaissance Reflection® Birch in Your Garden

If you have a new garden, or an open area with no trees, this birch tree is the perfect way to quickly fix that. Planted alone, as two or three, or in a small grove, it will grow so quickly that you will have good-sized trees on that lawn within a few short years. It can be grown in a row as a simple but effective boundary. It can even be grown for some years as a captivating potted tree, planted in a large container, to place on a deck or terrace.

Hardiness

The Renaissance Reflection Birch is very cold resistant. It is totally hardy in zones 3 to 7, and normally survives in zone 2 as well. It is not suitable for warmer zones, but this particular variety does have better heat resistance in zones 6 and 7 that other forms of white birch. If you want a white birch in those zones, this is the one you want.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Full sun is best for this tree, with a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun a day from spring to fall. It will grow well in ordinary soils, preferring moist but well-drained slightly acidic soils, but tolerating alkaline soils too, as well as clay soils and wet soils. It is perfect for newly-developed gardens, but it isn’t tolerant of inner-city pollution. It does resist road salt, and salt runoff in the soil, but not long periods of drought.

Maintenance and Pruning

Remove lower side branches while they are still still small to develop a clear trunk with no scarring. This is usually the only pruning needed, although you can also remove crowded branches on young trees to develop a graceful, more open crown. This tree is highly resistant to the birch borer, an insect that burrows beneath the bark, killing the growing parts and soon killing the tree. It can still suffer from birch leaf miner, but that pest is not lethal, and varies from season to season.

History and Origin of the Renaissance Reflection® Birch

The American white birch, Betula papyrifera, is perhaps the most beautiful of all the American species of birch. It is also called paper birch and canoe birch. It grows from sea to sea across Canada, and in all the northern states, as well as in mountainous areas further south. It has always been a popular garden tree in northern gardens, but the bronze birch borer has made it much rarer. In the 1970s the Evergreen Nursery Company, Inc. in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin, began a 40-year breeding program to develop trees that were resistant to the bronze birch borer. They grew many trees from seed and planted them at various locations to observe their growth and resistance. One trial planting was of 240 trees in New Carlisle, Ohio. Among those trees one stood out. Not only was it untouched by the borer, but its straight trunk and excellent white bark really caught the attention of Thomas Pinney, Jr. His family had owned Evergreen Nursery since it was founded in 1893. After further testing and observation of mature trees grown from that original, it was patented in 2002 with the name ‘Renci’. All our trees are grown from stem pieces, to preserve the genetic purity of that original tree. The same year the nursery trademarked the tree as Renaissance Reflection®, to mark the rebirth of white birch in gardens.

Buying the Renaissance Reflection® Birch at The Tree Center

Now that you can grow a beautiful white birch without worrying about it being soon killed by borers, everyone wants to have the Renaissance Reflection Birch in their gardens. We are so pleased we could source some trees, but they certainly won’t last long. Order now, and before you know it you will have a gorgeous white-barked tree standing on your lawn.

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Renaissance Reflection® Birch

Betula papyrifera 'Renci' (PP# 12,768)

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