This large handsome birch can reach 30m with a trunk 1 metre in diameter in its native habitat in the Far East. It is used there in plywood and by the furniture industry but is also a beautiful park tree. The leaves are slender, long and oval, and the branches droop attractively. The bark varies from white to cream, silvery or even pale red, exfoliating showily from the trunk and large branches in broad strips. In old age the bark becomes impressively thick.
The climate in costata birch’s native range closely resembles that in Finland, as does its habitat. The species seems to grow successfully here, although there are differences depending on seed provenance. Mustila has obtained seed direct from north-east China and South Korea. The Korean species grown in European nurseries is mainly Erman’s birch (Betula ermanii).