My landscape architect has specified mutli-stemmed white or silver birch for my front garden. I am trying to find three specimens that are still small enough for me to manage on my own (12 feet tall or smaller) but when I find them I want to be sure they will survive. Are multi-stemmed birch simply birch that have been "teased" into this shape or are they a hybrid? Do they do well in Vancouver's climate? I have been told that birch do not do well on the coast. Are there special care tactics that can promote their success other than the usual instructions on planting? I should also ask what the maximum height might be for this variety and how close to the house is it safe to plant? Do these trees have root system that can damage foundations or heave sidewalks? I have very limited space so if this is not a good tree to plant in a small front garden can anyone suggest an alternative? I also like Laburnum and Mountain Ash but hope for something around 30 ft high at most. I appreciate any advice or information.