Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Paper Birch
Give a thumbs up American White Birch
Give a thumbs up Canoe Birch

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 6b
Plant Height: 30 to 100 feet
Plant Spread: 20 to 70 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Fruit: Other: brown strobiles
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Other: catkins
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Uses: Provides winter interest
Shade Tree
Useful for timber production
Dynamic Accumulator: P (Phosphorus)
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Other Beneficial Insects
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Stratify seeds: 2 to 3 months at 41 degrees F
Other info: nurseries sow seed outdoors in fall to germinate in spring
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Winter snow with pond in background

Posted by robertduval14 (Mason, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Apr 18, 2013 10:06 PM

The state tree of New Hampshire.

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Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Sep 16, 2016 3:29 PM

Native in the Pacific NW; found around bogs, streams, and other wetlands. The flexible waterproof bark was used for baskets and canoes, the wood for fuel, the sap and inner bark as emergency food. The name birch may be translated in many languages as "a tree whose bark is used for writing upon." The sap can be chewed like gum, and it has also been used in a variety of beverages -- wine, soft drinks, and health tonics. The leaves turn yellow in the fall.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 16, 2017 9:00 PM

This most lovely tree has a huge native range over most of Alaska & Canada, the northern Rocky Mountains, spots in the northern Great Plains, most of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, northwest Illinois and northeast Iowa, northern Pennsylvania and much of New York, and New England. It is a very common tree in the north woods. It is planted a fair amount of the time in the northern US in landscapes. It grows about 1.5 to 2 feet/year and lives about 100 years in the north woods. In landscapes around Chicago, IL, and around Philadelphia, PA it usually lives about 30 years before being killed by the Bronze Birch Borer because of stress from summer heat and drought, though some in good locations with afternoon shade and coolness can live about 50 to 60 years in those areas. Irrigate landscape trees in summer. This white birch has peeling bark that was used by Native Americans to make canoes, thus also called Canoe Birch. The leaves are sort of rounded and get to 4 to 5.5 inches long x 2 to 4 inches wide. Offered by a good number of conventional, mail order, or native nurseries.

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Plant Events from our members
tinytreez On January 12, 2020 Obtained plant
Seeds obtained from OSC seeds.

Seeds sprinkled on wet paper towels and sandwiched together and kept inside plastic sandwich bag and is currently going through stratification inside freezer.

Seeds have been frozen solid, will move it from freezer to the refrigerator.

Stratification end date: April 2020
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
grey birch dieback by elisegreen Sep 6, 2018 1:29 PM 2
I can't figure out what kind of birch this is... by littleotterJ Aug 16, 2018 9:13 AM 1
Floral Alphabet Soup! Ingredients with the Letter B as a genus or common lead! by KatEnns Dec 15, 2017 10:45 AM 61
Snohomish County Native Plant Sale by Bonehead Jan 1, 2017 12:04 PM 12
Need help identifying a sapling by GardenGoober Apr 16, 2016 1:54 AM 8
August 2015 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Sep 1, 2015 12:28 PM 565
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Feb 8, 2013 9:39 PM 130

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