The white birch is a medium sized tree that can grow up to 25 meters tall. The white bark of silver birch sheds in layers like tissue paper and becomes black and rugged at the base. The soft, yellowish- or reddish-white wood is commercially important in construction and in the manufacture of vehicles, furniture, and small articles such as spoons and snowshoes. Paper birch bark peels off the tree in long, narrow strips and exposes an inner bark that is orange in color. 3. Includes Betula nigra 'BNMTF' Dura Heat™, Betula nigra 'Cully' Heritage™, Betula papyrifera - Paper Birch, Betula pendula 'Dalecarlica' - Cut-leaf Birch, Betula pendula 'Fastigiata', Betula pendula - Silver Birch, Betula platyphylla 'Fargo' Dakota Pinnacle™, Betula platyphylla var. The bark is dark red-brown to blackish, and smooth. Whilst Betula are mostly known for having white bark, we also offer newer varieties with blush, ginger, cream and red coloured bark. Broken twigs emit a spicy wintergreen fragrance and fermented sap is an ingredient in birch beer. By keeping your trees well pruned and free of damaged branches, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of infestation by bronze birch borer or other insects. White birch, any of several species of ornamental and timber trees of the genus Betula, in the family Betulaceae. The trees are native to cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere and have white, peeling bark. Birch polypore grows primarily on birch trees, and has no look-alikes. White birch trees are often used in landscaping because they will grow almost anywhere, as long as they get enough sunlight. Japanese White Birch. A main requirement is consistently moist soil. Birch trees, or Betula trees to use their Latin name, are favoured for their light, airy foliage and beautifully coloured peeling bark. The Tree is a deciduous tree, it will be up to 25 m (82 ft) high. The various species of birch trees in the Betula genus include at least 12 that are important landscape trees. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/plant/white-birch, Government of Canada - Natural Resources Canada - White birch. River birch is an increasingly popular, fast-growing tree for the home landscape. However, the roots might head for your plumbing pipes if a large tree is planted too close to your house. long (7 cm), with some golden-yellow fall color before they shed for the winter. Bog birch is a good choice for rain gardens. Betula platyphylla, commonly called Japanese white birch, is a medium to large sized tree noted for its white bark, thin spreading branches and slightly pendant branchlets. Other names for this tree include bog birch and arctic birch. Birches are fast-growing trees that can quickly provide benefit to your yard. One species of white birch, B. pubescens, is a tree about 18 m (60 feet) tall and is native to Eurasia. It has a clear, straight trunk and thin, rounded crown. Barbara Gillette is a Master Gardener, Herbalist, beekeeper, and journalist with decades of experience propagating and growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals. This compendium is provided for reference and is not the only source of relevant information that may be considered when making decisions about tree species feasibility and suitability. Paper birch is so-named due to the thin white bark which often peels in paper-like layers from the trunk. Also coming in a more trim trunk is the Japanese White Birch. Birch Tree. Regionally, the cherry birch may be called by other common names, including black birch, sweet birch, mahogany birch, Virginia roundleaf birch, or spice birch. Birch trees offer interesting bark color and texture and attractive foliage, but they are relatively short-lived and they may suffer from a susceptibility to diseases and insects, especially the bronze birch borer. Still, what the author of a mushroom book considers a “look-alike” is often very different than what a novice in the field optimistically hopes is the mushroom that’ll fulfill their quest. Birch trees thrive in moist soil and full sunlight. Thayne Tuason / Wikimedia Commons / CC By 4.0. Rainbow of colors Bradley D. Saum / Shutterstock Paper birch is not a large tree in Iowa and is used primarily for ornamental plantings. Paper birch is an easy tree to identify, with its white bark that tears in strips from the trunk. jacquemontii), Japanese White Birch (Betula platyphylla 'Japanica'), Silver Birch (Betula pendula or B. verrucosa), Water Birch (Betula occidentalis or Betula fontinalis), 10 Species of Linden Trees for Your Landscape, 40 Species of Pines From Around the World, 12 Trees With Brilliant Fall Color Plus Other Advantages, 12 Common Species of Willow Trees and Shrubs, 9 Recommended Species of Serviceberry Trees and Shrubs. Dry conditions are unfavorable for the tree due to its shallow root system. The beautiful bark and leaves make birches a common choice in landscaping, but they are relatively short-lived trees when compared to other hardwoods. This tree is a source of food and lodge material for the common North American beaver. This tree has other common names, including white-barked Himalayan birch and Jacquemonti birch. The leaves are ovoid and the flowers are yellow. Birch species are normally small to medium-size trees or shrubs, mostly of temperate climates and boreal zones of the northern hemisphere. The male and female flowers of birches, called catkins, exist on the same tree. Compendium Index From BC Tree Atlas The Distribution and Synopsis of Ecological and Silvical Characteristics of Tree Species of British Columbia (2000) which was used as the basis for the tree species compendia. Inspect the bark of all the white birches. It is found in almost all countries having a temperate climate. Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis var. The cap grows to be between 2 inches and 8 inches in diameter, with a white, tan or gray-brown surface. It grows as single-trunk tree that gradually transforms from pyramidal in shape to a more rounded, oval crown. Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) is also known as white birch or canoe birch. The trunk is typically about 1 to 2 feet wide. Many pine and spruce trees have scales of bark, while species like the black birch have thick, irregular plates on their trunks. Insect pests are most likely to strike a birch tree in areas where it is wounded or diseased. The most abundant poplar, the eastern cottonwood, is more massive than any birch, as this cottonwood can grow to 100 feet and has a spreading canopy. The usual lifespan of the birch is 40-50 years. The leaves of a white birch are ovate, around 2 to 4 inches long and 1 or 2 inches in width. Betula nana is a small dwarf shrub, native to arctic and cool temperate regions, especially tundra landscapes. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Unlike other birch trees, its bark does not peel. Gray birch bark does not come off the tree without much difficulty. Scopri quale personaggio del cinema rappresenta la tua vera natura di fundraiser. Furrowed : This bark is the most common type of bark out there, and this is what most people think of when you talk about tree bark. Here are 11 common types of birch trees for your landscape. The Japanese white birch (B. platyphylla japonica), an 18-metre tree native to eastern Asia, has broad leaves about 7 cm long; its hard, yellow-white wood is used for furniture and woodenware. European white birch is a fast-growing, graceful tree with creamy white bark that peels to … Other common names: Canoe Birch, Paper Birch French names: Bouleau à papier Family: Birch Family (Betulaceae) Group: Birches Distinctive features: Tree Similar species: • European White Birch (Betula pendula) - Branches are "weeping" (hanging down. This tree can grow to be about 50 feet to 80 feet tall, and need that full sun with a hint of shade for the greatest results. Birch trees prefer to occupy habitats in cool, moist areas, including peatlands (moors, peatbogs), river banks, and lakeshores. It has egg-shaped leaves, usually hairy below. Paper birch, (Betula papyrifera), ornamental, shade, and timber tree of the family...…. It is a medium-sized tree with a single trunk that quickly branches out into a pyramid shape. Various White Birch Trees (Source Links at Bottom of Article) Русский: Игорь Шпиленок, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia; Nicholas A. Tonelli Flickr, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr Birch trees have been specially bred for ornamental purposes for over a hundred years, resulting in an astounding number of birch … River birch may also be known as red birch, black birch, or water birch. The bark is usually bright in colour, from red on very young stems to becoming white/silver with age. It has egg-shaped leaves, usually hairy below. White birch is a medium-sized tree, with most in the wild growing to heights between 50 and 70 feet. The Paper Bark birch demonstrates some resistance to the bronze birch borer.Â. It can grow either as a single-trunk tree or in small clumps with multiple trunks. There are about 60 different species of birch. And many are susceptible to damage from insects and diseases. It has distinctive salmon-pink to reddish-brown bark that exfoliates to reveal lighter inner bark providing year round interest in the landscape. It is found principally in the northeast part of Iowa, extending southwestward to Eldora. Also known as Weeping birch or European white birch, the sliver birch was once used extensively in landscapes, but its high susceptibility to the bronze birch borer has limited its use in more recent years. The dwarf birch is rarely planted in landscapes, but it is important cover vegetation in cold northern territories. Consequently older trees have a much darker trunk and bark. Other common names for this tree include western birch, red birch, river birch, black birch, and western red birch. And others grow as classic single-trunk trees. This birch species is very susceptible to the bronze birch borer and usually requires removal and/or replacement, especially in warmer zones. Do not let this deter you though; these are magnificent trees and should definitely be considered for inclusion in your landscape. In young trees the bark is reddish-brown, but this changes to white as they mature. Birch trees belong to the genus Betula and are classified as part of the Betulaceae family of plants. Common Names: Canoe Birch, Silver Birch, Paper Birch Genus: Betula Species: papyrifera Parts Used: leaves, sap, lumber, The White Birch is a small to medium sized deciduous tree which grows to 70 or 80 feet in height. The trees are slender, with their trunks not normally exceeding a diameter of 40 cm. Four birch tree species (Betula costata, B. pendula, B. platyphylla, B. pubescens) are traditionally important resource species in Russia. The Silver birch has an attractive pendulous habit and distinctive white bark that peels away in papery strips. The plant tolerates occasional flooding, alkaline soil, clay soil, and road salt, but it does not tolerate air pollution very well. Water birch typically occurs along streams in mountainous regions, where it grows in dense thickets. It does not tolerate shade well. The mushrooms are round but connect to the tree at a narrow point, and so they often appear horseshoe-shaped. Color of the bark is commonly white and reddish-brown. The European white birch (B. pendula, sometimes erroneously called B. alba), also known as silver birch or common birch, has slender, drooping branches and small, sharp-pointed leaves about 6 cm (2 inches) long. It is a showy tree in the woods with its white bark. Others are trees that clump with multiple trunks. European white birch trees have a slender trunk of perhaps a foot in width and noticeably drooping branches throughout its canopy. Buds, catkins and leaves along with twigs and bark are a source of food for birds and other wildlife. Updates? Bog birch is a medium-sized, short-lived, clump-forming shrub that thrives in wet sites. Paper birch is named for the tree's thin white bark, which often peels in paper like layers from the trunk. To view each birch tree image in full size, just click on the photo you like to enlarge the tree picture.. Tree Types. Vanessa Richins Myers is a seasoned horticulturist, garden writer and educator with 10+ years of experience in the horticulture and gardening space. japonica 'Whitespire', Betula 'Penci-2' - Royal Frost ™, Betula utilis var. As this blog makes clear, it is very pest prone, and since gardeners mostly stopped using strong insecticides, it is very difficult to keep a tree alive for more than a few years. The cut-leaved, purple-leaved, and weeping birches are popular ornamental varieties of European white birch. Tree Galleries on the left give you information about the specific tree type and lots of great pictures of that tree. The yellow birch has a bark to it that contains more of a sheen, giving it an elegant feel in a sense. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Weeping white birch, or silver birch as it is also called, is the European birch, Betula pendula. But birches still make excellent, fast-growing landscape specimens, provided you have realistic expectations. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Other common names include swamp birch, glandular birch, dwarf birch, and resin birch. Name: Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera), also known as Canoe Birch.. Shiny, red-brown bark and yellow foliage make this an attractive tree for lawns and naturalized areas. Trees that have scaly bark are shagbark hickory, strawberry tree, maple and river birch. Other articles where European white birch is discussed: Fagales: Betulaceae: pendula (silver birches) and B. nana (dwarf birches) are circumboreal (i.e., extending to the northern limit of the tree line); the two species very nearly coincide in their ranges, with the dwarf birches extending farther into the Arctic. This is an important species to the North American lumber industry and a major woodland food source for birds and wildlife. This is the classic birch tree use by Native Americans to make many useful products from footware to their famous birch-bark canoes. Primarily native to Alaska, Canada, and northern U.S. states, this tree has lovely white bark and yellow fall color. This tree grows best in medium to wet, well-drained, sandy or rocky loam. Dark green foliage turns a beautiful buttery yellow in the fall. River birch has good resistant to the bronze birch borer. It is one of the only truly heat-tolerant birches. Although it prefers full sun, the Japanese White Birch thrives in northern and eastern exposures that receivs some afternoon shade. Some varieties grow in shrubby clusters. This species, also known as Asian white birch, is a medium to large tree with white bark and thin spreading branches that terminate in drooping branchlets. This is the best maple tree bark identification characteristic you can find out there. It is found everywhere in Ontario except for along the shore of Hudson Bay. They are typically small to medium-sized trees and shrubs found in temperate zones in the Northern Hemisphere. Birch is the name of a certain tree of the genus Betula, in the family Betulaceae, closely related to the beech/oak family, Fagaceae. Flowering in April and May, the tree produces fruiting catkins from August through October and serves as a food source for deer, moose, rabbits and various birds. Paper White 1 1/2 - 3' Birch In spring the bright green leaves appear, lightly covering the tree; in summer the leaves turn an emerald green and … It will grow in a variety of conditions, though it favors wet but well-drained sites with a rocky, nutrient-poor, acidic soil. Most birches are water lovers, which can be great if you have soil that tends to be moist. The bark of the White Birch tree is white and easily peels in fine horizontal strips often with small black marks and scars. Whether you plant European white birch (Betula pendula) or paper birch (Betula papyrifera), your pruners will sit on the shelf most of the time. The Black Birch is botanically called Betula lenta . The ornamental interest of Himalayan birch includes pretty spring flowers, rich yellow fall color, and bright white papery bark. White Birch. It is a single-stemmed tree with yellow-bronze bark that peels in narrow horizontal strips. The bark, on mature trees, develops vertical cracks that form irregular scaly plates, closely resembling the bark of cherry trees. Credit: Laurie Campbell / WTML ... it can be another helpful to help with tree identification. Exact details such as growing zones and height will depend on the particular variety. The simple leaves may be toothed or pointed. Featuring an elegant, pyramidal habit, it bears ovate, toothed, lime-green leaves, 3 in. It may grow to a height of 15 m on light soils. at breast height. Cherry birch is a large tree that grows from a single main trunk. These mushrooms, Piptoporus betulinus, are found almost exclusively on birch trees. It also is known as the canoe birch or white birch. When planted in residential landscapes, it grows well around bodies of water or in boggy areas. This tree grows best in medium to wet, well-drained, sandy or rocky loam. Trees known as weeping birches generally are different naturally occurring or cultivated varieties of silver birch (Betula pendula), described above. One species of white birch, B. pubescens, is a tree about 18 m (60 feet) tall and is native to Eurasia. This species, also known as Asian white birch, is a medium to large tree with white bark and thin spreading branches that terminate in drooping branchlets. Leaves: Alternate, Simple, Toothed The soft, yellowish- or reddish-white wood is commercially important in construction and in the manufacture of vehicles, furniture, and small articles such as spoons and snowshoes. • Gray Birch (Betula populifolia) - A small tree; only in extreme eastern Ontario. These trees have their own charms, however. It may grow either as a single-trunk tree or a multi-trunk clumping tree. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Like several other members of the birch familly, this birch performs best in cooler climate; with warmer zones causing increased susceptibility to birch borer insects. Paper birch (Betula papyrifera), also known by the common names of white birch and canoe birch, and trembling or quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) are popular landscaping trees across the United States.Both have white bark. Description These are small to medium-sized trees living up to 140 years. Yellow birch may be known regionally as swamp birch, curly birch, gold birch, or hard birch. It then develops dark grey/black ‘arrows and diamonds’ or horizontal streaks of grey in the case of downy birch. This tree also attracts beautiful butterflies to the landscape, but is resistant to the bronze birch borer which can devastate other species of birch. Omissions? Betula papyrifera (paper birch, also known as (American) white birch and canoe birch) is a short-lived species of birch native to northern North America. The name white birch also refers to paper birch. Corrections? Yellow birch, named for the color of its bark, is a relatively long-lived birch which typically grows 150 years and may even grow up to 300 years in old-growth forests. They now occupy most areas that were glaciated… Most birches are characterized by distinctive bark with papery plates; the appearance of the bark often is the feature that gives the species its common names. #4lead Broadleaf trees have flowers that contain the reproductive organs, and … On a white birch, the male catkins often grow in threes and are up to 4 inches long, with the female catkins half as long. Birch bark turns lighter and peels off in sheets as the tree matures; aspen bark may become rough in older trees but does not peel off. The white bark is most prominent on silver birch, where it is interspersed with conspicuous black patches. It is a heartier and longer-lived tree in cooler climates. Birch species are generally small to medium-size trees or shrubs, mostly of temperate climates. The tree derives its name from its nature of easily peeling off, or flaking like a parchment of paper. The bark of most poplars is dark colored, hard, fissured or furrowed on the mature specimens. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. 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( Betula populifolia ) - a small dwarf shrub, native to cool regions of the Betulaceae. And naturalized areas and updated by, https: //www.britannica.com/plant/white-birch, Government of Canada white. Off the tree likes Sun to half-shade at the location and the flowers are yellow areas... The tree in the fall. river birch, on mature trees, and information Encyclopaedia... And 8 inches in diameter, with some golden-yellow fall color as swamp birch, or water birch clumping! With multiple trunks shape to a height of 15 m on light soils definitely be considered for inclusion your! 'Penci-2 ' - Royal Frost ™, Betula 'Penci-2 ' - Royal Frost ™, Betula utilis var birch-bark. Is not a large tree in long, narrow strips and exposes an inner bark that is in. Soil and full sunlight catkins and leaves make birches a common choice landscaping. Family Betulaceae landscape trees you have soil that tends to be moist the mushrooms are round connect! 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Horticulture and gardening space mature specimens grows primarily on birch trees, develops vertical cracks that form irregular plates. In almost all countries having a temperate climate water birch typically occurs along in! Here are 11 common types of birch trees for your Britannica newsletter get!