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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):


Family (Botanic):


Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

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

Seasons of Interest:

  • early winter,
  • midwinter,
  • late winter,
  • early fall,
  • mid fall,
  • late fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Inconspicuous

Shape or Form:

  • Pyramidal,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

Transplants Well:

  • Yes


  • 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.

Location of Betula 'Madison' (White Satin™ birch) at the Arboretum