The species from which Fascination was developed was brought back from China in 1901 by Ernest Wilson. He was very taken with it, describing it as follows:
"The bark is singularly lovely being a rich orange-red or orange-brown and peels off in sheets each no thicker than fine tissue paper and each successive layer is clothed with a white glaucous bloom"
Further to this the catkins in the spring are amazing up to 10cm in length opening to a rich yellow-brown and so numerous my kids call it the ‘caterpillar tree’.
Fascination is a refined clone with dark green leaves which are large for a birch appearing in April along with the showy display of yellow catkins.
It has outstanding stem colour – orange peeling to pink and cream and then purest white once the tree gets beyond 30cm girth.
It is a medium sized tree becoming oval as it matures has stiffly ascending branches and the one outside my kitchen window now over 50cm girth is a constant joy and often commented on.
A great choice for parks and verges growing well on most soils.
It is listed by a few as Betula utilis Fascination but we put it firmly classified in the albosinensis group.
We stock these as both single and multi-stemmed
Mature height: 7-12m
Mature spread: 4-8m