Betula ermanii ‘Mt Zao Purple’ has a base colour of purple overlain with creamy orange, combined with very prominent horizontal bands of lenticels creating an almost striped appearance. This is so unusual that we decided to perpetuate it as a cultivar.
It is a lovely stately tree, very much in demand due to the outstanding, freely peeling bark. The lenticels on the trunks are very striking – they seem to swirl round the trunk and coalesce. Autumn leaf colour is always a rich orange. Will grow in well-drained soils but will achieve greater stature in a more moist area.
Our trees are 2-3 year old grafts of between 2-4 foot high with good roots. This cultivar seems to grow more slowly than many birch.
Height: 12-18 metres, extensive spreading crown
Source: the extinct volcano of Mt Zao, North Honshu, Japan.