Yellow Birch Betula Alleghaniensis
Birch Betulaceae family

Leaves are egg-shaped, coming to a point at the tip, many small teeth along the margin, and 1-5" long. They are a "flimsy" sort of leaf. In the fall, these leaves turn yellow.

Flowers are in the form of flowering catkins that are narrow and approximately 1 1/8" long, and grow longer in the spring.


Fruit is also a catkin, like the flower, but this one is "fatter" and shorter (approximately 1/2" wide x 1" long), sort of like the end of your thumb.

Bark: Yellow birch bark is shiny and yellow or silver-gray, and peels in narrow strips.

Form/Habitat: Yellow birch is common in this area, and it is often found in the woods along with sugar maple, hemlock, and hobblebush. It is a fairly large tree (70 - 80') with a 2-3' diameter.

Winter identification: Yellow birch twigs are brown with tiny whitish dots that give it a "bumpy" feel. When you break the twigs or scratch the surface, they smell like wintergreen (black birch has this characteristic also). Both the twigs and buds are somewhat hairy; this is most easily detected with a hand lens.

NWI Status: FAC



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