White or Paper Birch Betula papyrifera
Birch Betulaceae family

Leaves are egg-shaped, coming to a point at the tip. Like most birches, they are double-toothed. 1 - 4" long. Fall foliage is yellow.

Flowers The flower is a narrow catkin, approximately 1 1/8" long, and growing in the spring.

Fruit is also a catkin. This one is also narrow, and doesn't extend as long as the flowering catkins do.

Bark is the distinguishing characteristic of paper or white birch. This is the only birch with white bark that peels off in wide horizontal strips. Freshly peeled bark is usually pinkish in color, and sometimes shows green where it is photosynthesizing through lenticels in the bark. Young bark is brown with numerous, very small white dots.

Form/Habitat: Mature trees can range 70'-80'in hieght and live a short lifespan for a tree of 140 years, this is because White Birch are early successional species and are soon over grown by later successional speices which this shade-intolerant birch can not compete with. White Birch grows on almost any soil and topographic situation, including rugged mountain slopes, open slopes, rock slides, and on the borders of bogs and swamps.

Winter identification White birch twigs are brown with tiny, white spots on them.

NWI Status: FACU

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