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TREES & plants

White Satin™ birch

White bark of White Satin™ birch.

White Satin™ birch is a Chicagoland Grows® introduction. It provides beautiful white bark and good resistance to the bronze birch borer (BBB).  This hybrid offers dark green leaves that turn a nice yellow fall color.

Botanical name: 
Betula 'Madison'
All Common Names: 
White Satin™ birch
Family (English): 
Birch
Family (Botanic): 
Betulaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks
Landscape Uses: 
  • Shade tree, 
  • Specimen
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
  • Medium tree (25-40 feet)
Mature Height: 
35-45 feet
Mature Width: 
25-35 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Intolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Intolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Intolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Tolerant
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Spring blossoms, 
  • Fall color, 
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Early winter, 
  • Mid winter, 
  • Late winter, 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall, 
  • Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Shape or Form: 
  • Pyramidal, 
  • Upright
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
Wildlife: 
  • Birds, 
  • Browsers, 
  • Cavity-nesting birds, 
  • Insect pollinators, 
  • Sapsuckers, 
  • Small mammals
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Best in full sun and well drained soil.
Avoid pruning birches in spring as they are considered bleeders (will lose quantities of sap).

Disease, pests, and problems

Leaf miners and cankers

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Good resistance to bronze birch borer.

Native geographic location and habitat

Of hybrid origin.

Bark color and texture 

This species has a satin white bark that is slightly peeling.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, alternate leaves, dark green, ovoid to slightly triangular-shaped.
Margins are double serrated.  Good yellow fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Inconspicuous;  male flowers in cylindrical catkins; females much smaller.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Cylindrical clusters of winged nutlets, borne at end of branches.

Betula 'Madison' or White Satin™ birch