We all recognize the birch tree because that its showy, white to gray peeling barks. They room staples in moist woodlands and are most likely discovered in cooler climates. But when they space planted in landscapes, lock offer more than just shade because they space true showstoppers. If you space considering having birch trees in your home, girlfriend must very first know the best species that you have to consider.

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This write-up features few of the many notable birch tree varieties out there. It also lists some useful information that you deserve to refer to after. So, if you space in for whatever birch tree, review on.

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Birch tree identificationTypes that birch trees

Birch tree facts

There is more to birch tree aside from your showy barks. Right here are some amazing facts about birches the you should know about.

There are roughly 60 species of birch trees spread in almost all temperate climates around the world.It does not survive in dried climates since it has a shallow root system.It is recognized for the longevity. Top top average, birch tree live because that 50 years but some varieties could live up to 200 years or more.The pollens exit by the birch tree is considered as the reason behind 20% the the total situations of hay fever in the northern hemisphere.There space 11 varieties of birch trees the are listed as endangered types by the IUCN in 2011.Birch trees are far-reaching to native American society and tradition together a source of food, log, and materials to develop traditional huts and canoes.The oldest proof of birch tree barks being used as paper or together writing tablet computers trace ago to the very first century.Birch saps are supplied in China, Russia, and northern Europe to make birch syrups i m sorry are provided like maple syrups. Castle are additionally used in make cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos.

Birch tree symbolism

Being one of the oldest tree varieties in the world method that that is also widely referenced in historical and also biblical texts. Together such, the birch tree is surrounded with myths, people stories, and symbolisms. Right here are several of the most notable symbolisms the the birch tree.

It is provided in native American culture as the center pole of their structures since the birch tree is a symbol of fruitful beginnings. Other than this, it additionally represents home, shelter, and also important gatherings.Among the Celts, the birch tree is a prize of stability and also renewal. It likewise represents adaptability because the tree have the right to survive harsh cold climates. It is the center point of the Beltane Festival.It is additionally called the ‘Lady the the Woods’ in Celtic folklore and also is extremely associated through feminine energies including fertility and also nurturance. It is linked with fertility goddesses such together Frigga and also Freya of the norseman mythology, Eostre the the Anglo-Saxon tradition and also Venus of roman mythology.In Siberia, the birch is a sacred tree and is believed to it is in the ladder the connects heaven and also earth.For the Chinese, birch trees represent rejuvenation and connection.It is the state tree of new Hampshire and also the national tree the Finland, Russia, and also Sweden.

Birch tree identification

The birch tree is many identifiable v its bark but here room some other characteristics that you have to look the end for appropriate birch tree identification.


Birch tree leaves space either triangle or heart shaped. The leaves likewise have carefully serrated margins, in addition to pointed tips and also a round base. They room arranged in an alternate fashion and also turn right into yellow, orange, or red during fall.

Some distinct distinctions show depending on the type of birch tree. For example, gray birches have triangular shaped leaves while flow birches space diamond shaped. White birches top top the other hand, have an ext prominent serrations.


Birch tree barks are largely white or gray but there are additionally bronze, brown, silver, and brown birch barks. Birch tree barks additionally have smooth barks that papery texture, peeling into much more papery layers v horizontal streaks dubbed lenticels. Their peeling habit proves as showstoppers in winter gardens.


Both male and also female birch trees create catkins in either summer or fall. These small flowers bloom at the exact same time the foliage of the birch tree appears. Flower from male birches are 2cm much longer than woman catkins.

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Types of birch trees

There are at the very least 60 detailed types of birch tree dispersed in the north hemisphere. Of these 60, the following would be the many popular species as lock are supplied in landscaping and contributions in the lumber and also woodworks industry, and wildlife conservation.

1. Bog Birch (Betula pumila)


This one is additionally called the swamp birch because it thrives well follow me streams, bogs, and swamps. It grows to approximately 13ft, grow in clumps with woody stems and branches as well as coral-like pipeline that revolve reddish-orange in the fall. The tolerates acidic and alkaline soils and also is the perfect addition to any type of rain gardens.

2. Cherry Birch or sweet birch (Betula lenta)



Also dubbed as the freckles birch or the black color birch, this one is sought-after since of the shade, its lumber that dims into a mahogany-like lumber and also being the source of wintergreen oil. It grow to up to 70ft supplying a the shade cover of at least 40ft. The is identifiable for its shining red-brown bark with scales prefer the cherry tree.

It grow from a single trunk, has actually ovate lime eco-friendly leaves, and also produces white flower in the summer and also followed by little berries in the fall. It is condition resistant and attracts wildlife because that its fruits and butterflies for pollination. The sap is likewise used to make birch beer.

3. Chinese Red Birch (Betula Albosinensis)


This one is unique for the red-brown papery bark i m sorry peels into more papery layers through white horizontal strips. The pipeline are also striking because that its matte texture, and yellow green color that goes complete bright yellow during fall. That is native to west China but has get an impression scarce through the years. That is dryness tolerant, reaches a height of 50ft and a spread of 30ft.

4. Downy Birch or white birch tree (Betula Pubescens)


The downy birch thrives in exceptionally cold climates, farming wild in western Europe, Russia and also in Iceland. It grows to 60ft with a spread of 40ft. It is a really useful tree in its native ranges. That is bronze-brown bark is turned right into flour come make classic delicacies.

The bark is additionally dried and also made right into tea since it is a natural diuretic and also an anti-inflammatory remedy. It is additionally important in carpentry and cabinetry. It gets its surname from that fuzzy hair-like overgrowth.

5. Dwarf Birch (Betula nana)


This one is hardly ever planted in landscapes due to the fact that it only thrives in an extremely cold weather. That is likewise called the arctic birch due to the fact that it is critical ground cover because that cold climate vegetation.

It grow in in between 6inches to 3ft and also thrives in rocky, acidic, and nutrient deficient soils. It is very woody, with branches expanding out through clusters that dark environment-friendly leaves that room curved in ~ the edges.

6. Erman’s Birch (Betula ermanii)


This birch grows in multiple trunks and also is distinct for that copper brown bark i m sorry peels right into layers that tan and also cream tones. It grows to as much as 70ft, has a conical shape when it will maturity, and also a thick foliage created of heart-shaped leaves.

The leaves room deep green most seasons however turn yellow throughout fall. The is commonly used in city parks because of its shade cover. It can likewise be planted in residence landscapes with large garden areas.

7. Gray Birch (Betula Populifolia)


This one is an ext of an oversized shrub than a tree. It gets its surname from that is grayish-white bark with dark brown dents. They grow in moist soils and also grow in multiple trunks.

It has actually ovate, deep green and airy leaves that room curved at the edges. Because it just grows to a maximum elevation of 20ft, that is frequently used in home landscapes. The can additionally be conditioned to flourish smaller to it is in planted in an ext compact yards.

8. Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii)


This one has a high ornamental value since of its highlight appearance. It has remarkable white barks through a papery texture, yellow or eco-friendly flowers during spring, v the signature ovate pipeline with carefully serrated edge of birch trees.

It grows from a single trunk into a tool size tree. It thrives much better in cooler temperatures. That can grow to as much as 50ft and is native to the West Himalayas.

9. Japanese White Birch (Betula platyphylla ‘Japanica’)


Also dubbed the oriental white birch, the is well-known for that slender, white bark, dark scales, long, woody branches and lots of drooping branchlets. It grows in in between 40-50ft and prefers wet, sandy or rocky soils.

This one is a beautiful landscape specimen tree in northern regions whereby the climate is really cool. While it could likewise survive in warmer climates, planting this birch there would certainly make it fragile to borer’s disease.

10. Paper Bark Birch (Betula papyrifera)

This one is aboriginal to the north US and in Canada. It it s okay its surname from its file thin, white bark i m sorry peels into paper-like layers. The produces yellow flowers in the fall and can flourish from a solitary trunk or in clumps. It grows between 45-100ft.

It is likewise named as the canoe birch as it was used generally by indigenous Americans in structure canoes. The catkins on the other hand are a secure supply that food because that wildlife. This one is birch bronze borer resistant.

11. River Birch (Betula nigra)

This fast-growing birch has come to be a famed landscape tree. The can flourish in a clumping form or native a solitary trunk. The bark is noteworthy for that is reddish- brown bark the reveals salmon pink layers once it exfoliates.

Its ovate leaves space dark environment-friendly most days yet turn butter yellow in the fall. It is among the couple of heat and drought tolerant birches, cultivation in between 40-70ft and is resistant to copper borers.

12. Silver Birch (Betula pendula or B. Verrucosa)

This birch is unique for its cultivation habit that starts as pyramidal and also then rounded in ~ maturity. It grow from a solitary trunk, v white bark and dark gray marks. The bark peels into paper-like layers. Relying on its cultivar, the can prosper in in between 40-80ft. The thrives well in cooler climates.

It would certainly not last lengthy in warmer temperatures. It has actually lost the popularity together a landscape tree since of that vulnerability to copper birch borer.

13. Water Birch (Betula occidentalis or Betula fontinalis)

As the name suggests, this birch thrives in streambanks particularly in mountainous locations where they grow in special clusters. The is additionally distinguishable because that its relatively smooth bark through a cocoa brown color.

The bark does no peel yet it has white dents every over. It grow in between 25-50ft and also is far-reaching as lodge material as well as a source of food because that the north American beaver.

14. Weeping Birches (Betula pendula var.)

This one it s okay its name from that is pendulous expansion habit. That branches droop down yet overall type a pyramidal form. It has a thick foliage written of heart-shaped leaves.

It is a good focal allude in any type of landscape because of that mighty form, decorative catkins, and also a golden yellow shade during fall. It has a white bark and also dark gray to black trunks and also branches. Depending on the cultivar, it grows in in between 40-70ft.

15. Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

This one is considered as the birch with the longest lifespan together it might live for 150-300 years. It it s okay its name from that smooth gold to bronzy yellow bark i m sorry peels in horizontal strips. It grow from a single trunk. That sap can be tapped to develop beverages the taste favor root beer.

It is also listed as one of the most crucial trees for lumber production in phibìc America and a far-reaching source the food and habitat for wildlife. That grows in between 40-80ft.

Where carry out birch trees grow?

Birch tree are indigenous to northern, chillier climates. They are renowned winter landscapes in rural communities in the northern hemisphere since it can not tolerate heat and dry conditions. It additionally does no fare well in publicly locations. That thrives in moist, acidic to alkaline soils. It usually grows in hardiness area of 2-6.

How to grow and care for birch trees

Regardless that the kind of birch tree, all species are spanned by general care and propagating tips. Right here are the simple growing and also caring demands for birch trees.

Light: Birch trees flourish with full sun come dappled irradiate in colder climates. If planted as border tree in landscapes, it have to be inserted in one area wherein taller tree could administer shade come it or alone in a very shaded part of the garden.Soil: this trees choose cool and also moist soils. They could additionally tolerate moist rocky, sandy, and also loam soils. That loves acidic soils, however it could additionally thrive in slightly alkaline soils. Mulching it v shredded bark or leaves and wood chips are the best choices for birch trees.Water: If you room in a place where your birch trees could compete with other plants for water, it could require constant watering. If planted along organic habitat varieties such together streams, riverbanks, bogs, or ponds, watering need to be done once every three weeks.Temperature and also humidity: As have actually been stated several times, birch trees love cool climates wherein winters are long, and summers are still cooler than tropical to subtropical climates. That does not tolerate heat and also drought back some species do.Fertilizer: You should fertilize birch trees due to the fact that if not, they could be an ext susceptible to bronze birch borers. Because that this, you have to purchase a slow-release granular fertilizer. Apply this beneath a great of mulch during spring.Pruning: This tree does no require consistent pruning as it retains its shape as long as that is in the best environment. Yet if you desire occasional pruning, do not carry out so in between winter and spring or else you will be managing messy sap anywhere the trunk.

Birch trees pests and diseases

This tree, like other trees, can likewise be prone to various pests and also diseases. So, to know which persons to stop through ideal maintenance and to look the end for to make early interventions, these are birch tree pests and diseases that must be checked.

Bronze birch borer: This is probably the most lethal trouble for birch trees. Boring beetles directly attack the trunk and weakens the tree by interrupting sap flow. Birch borer condition is indicated by a thinning crown or wounds almost everywhere the trunk.Birch leafminer: This one is the result burrowing leaf miner insects which niche within the tribe of birch trees to sweep nutrients off. It is often indicated by the green spots uncovered in the leaves of the trees. When the clues turn into brown splotches, interventions might be critical. It would not kill the tree, however it will certainly surely disfigure it and weaken the tree.

Other diseases and also pests that weaken birch trees would be the following:

European or typical aphidsScorchHeart rotsCankers

How lengthy do birch trees live?

The average lifespan that birch trees would be 40 years. Yet of course, over there are noteworthy birch tree types that live for hundreds of years. Because that example, record birch lasts to approximately 70 year while sweet birch could live for as much as 250 years. The yellow birch top top the various other hand, can have a lifespan of 150-300 years.

Why perform birch trees have actually black streaks on your trunk?

The black streaks in the trunk of birch tree are dubbed lenticels and also they space there for vital reason. Birch trees photosynthesize through their barks and also the black streaks allow gas exchange in between the air and the birch tree.

The variety of lenticels in a birch tree is an indicator that their expansion rate. This way that the more lenticels discovered in birch tree bark, the more it is mature and the better its growth rate.

Which birch tree has the whitest bark?

The Himalayan birch has actually the whitest bark of all birch trees. Unlike other birch trees, the white color of the bark go not change even when it has already completed maturity. The has good ornamental value specifically as the focal point of winter landscapes.

Birch tree vs Aspen Trees

These two trees room often confused with each other due to the fact that they both have actually light fancy barks, and their pipeline both revolve yellow in the fall. As well as these, there are other differences between birches and also aspens.

BarkTurns lighter and also peels in maturity.Turns rough and also does no peel.
LeavesOvate and also serrated by the edges.Round and with finer tooth in the margins.
HeightAverage elevation is 40-50ft.Average elevation is 20-80ft.
Root systemShallowDeep and also aggressive
Climate (Hardiness Zone)2-62-8
RegenerationRegenerates native sprouts in roots and trunks.Regenerates native sprouts discovered in the roots.

Where to buy birch trees?

Except for some varieties such together the Chinese red birch, you can buy birch tree from your neighborhood nurseries. Online, girlfriend should discover birch trees because that sale top top the complying with sites:

Nature HillsThe Tree CenterMcKay NurseryArbor DayWilson Bros GardensBower and BranchCold present FarmBark CanoeTree Plantation


Birch trees are beautiful landscape trees the are difficult to miss in any kind of garden due to the fact that of their signature peeling, pale colored barks. They space loved for their shade capacity, appearance, and also longevity. That is fairly low maintain if planted in the ideal soil and within the appropriate climate and temperature.

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The tree additionally has an exciting symbolic profile in many countries in the north hemisphere. Aside from this, it also significantly contributes come woodwork and also lumber industries, in the preservation of cultural traditions v delicacies, in make syrups, and also in wildlife conservation. V all things considered, birch tree are several of the finest trees to choose for your house landscape.

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