Species Detail - Paper Birch

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Photo You selected a Paper Birch:

Scientific Name:
Betula papyrifera

Leaves:
2-4 in. long, 1 -2 in. wide. Ovate; long-pointed; base rounded or obtuse; saw-toothed; dull dark green above, light yellow-green beneath; fall color light yellow.

Flowers:
Brownish catkins in twos or threes; tiny; in early spring.

Buds:
Chestnut brown; with scales; downy on margins.

Bark:
Chalky to creamy white; smooth; thin; with long horizontal lines; separating into papery strips to reveal orange inner bark.

Height:
50-70 ft

Diameter:
1-2 ft.

Range:
Transcontinental across North America from Alaska to Labrador; south to New York, west to Oregon; also in Colorado and western North Carolina. Native to Vermont.

Other Info:
Cones are 1 -2 in., narrow and cylindrical, hang on slender stalk. Souvenirs of birch bark should only be taken from fallen logs, since stripping bark from living trees leaves permanent black scars.