My Colby-Sawyer Experience

“My students are always kind of surprised to learn about what they have missed, what they haven't been paying attention to all their lives.”
Natural Sciences Professor Laura Alexander

175th Celebration

In 2012 the college celebrated 175 years as an institution of teaching and learning. Visit the 175th website for more information and to view photos of the events.

Black or Sweet Birch Betula lenta
Birch Betulaceae family

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Leaves are similar to yellow birch leaves - many small teeth, and somewhat "flimsy." 1 - 6" long. Leaf side veins are mostly branched.

Flowers are narrow catkins approximately 1 1/8" long that grow in the spring.

Fruit is also a catkin approximately 1" long by 1/2" wide and opened wider than the flower catkins.

Bark is brown or black with horizontal lenticels. Young bark appears to have thin horizontal stripes. Older bark breaks up into dinner-plate size chunks, peeling off the tree. This is the key way to distinguish black from yellow birch.

Form/Habitat: Black birch is not as common here as yellow, white and gray birch. A medium height tree; 50 - 70' tall with a diameter of 2 - 3.'

Winter identification: Buds and twigs are hairless. Broken or scratched twigs smell like wintergreen, similar to yellow birch.

NWI Status: FACU

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