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 B. utilis Fascination but we put it firmly classified in the albosinensis group.
Multi stemmed trees are particularly useful when planted on elevated or exposed ground as they have a low centre of gravity and need no staking.
Our multi stemmed birch is grown as true single plant coppices not three or four plants bundled together in a pot that can lead to issues further down the line.
We stock these as both single and multi-stemmed