The Japanese white birch is the equivalent of the native Finnish species, B. pendula, called white or silver birch. Many experts consider the two as different forms rather than different species. There are distinguishing characteristics: the Japanese tree has larger leaves, there is no droop to the branches, and the bark doesn’t develop like that of the Finnish species, but rather maintains its handsome whiteness into maturity, sometimes with a touch of pink.
In its native range the Japanese white birch is the most economically important of the birches. In the wild it can grow to a handsome 25m, but experience so far in Finland seems to indicate that it will not grow as tall here.