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Betula alleghaniensis

Common Name(s):
Golden birch, Yellow birch
Categories:
Native Plants, Trees
Comment:

The Betula alleghaniensis is a deciduous tree that may grow 70 to 80 feet tall.  The bark on younger trees is shiny bronze and horizontally in thin, papery strips.  Older trees have bark with reddish-brown scaly plates.  It has showy yellow fall color.  The cone is plump and upright and has many hairy scales that each contain 2-winged nutlets.  The twigs smell like wintergreen when broken, thought not as strong as sweet birch (Betula lenta), the only other birch to smell of wintergreen.

Regions:  Mountain

Seasons of Interest: 

     Foliage: Fall, yellow   Bloom: Spring       Seed: Late summer  Bark:  Winter

Wildlife Value: The Golden birch is a host plant for the Mourning Cloak and Dreamy Duskywing butterflies.  Many moths also use this tree as a host plant.  The seeds are eaten by birds.  Northern flying squirrels and northern saw-whet owls use the hollows that often form in this tree as nest sites.  Squirrels (flying and red) often use the exfoliating bark to line or insulate their nests.  The Golden birch is highly deer resistant.

 

 

Height:
70-80 feet
Flower:
The Yellow birch has yellow blooms in mid to late April - It is monoecious having male and female catkins. It generally has 5 to 8 male catkins per cluster followed by small nutlets held in catkins.
Zones:
3-7
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
The Yellow birch tree prefers cool locations, moist soil in a sun to partial sun.
Texture:
Medium
Form:
pyramidal, dense - young, rounded to irregular crown - mature
Exposure:
Sun, part shade
Fruit:
Small nutlets held in catkins
Leaf:
The leaves of the Yellow birch tree are alternate, simple with doubly toothed margins and a pointed tip. Dull darker green surface and lighter underneath.
Tags:
showy bark, owls, deciduous, birds, wildlife, fragrant, moths, deer resistant, fall interest, host, bark, butterflies, showy fall

NCCES plant id: 3157

Betula alleghaniensis Form
Chris M., CC-BY-SA-3.0
Betula alleghaniensis Leaves
Annalei Salo, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Betula alleghaniensis Betula alleghaniensis
El Grafi, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Betula alleghaniensis Bark
Kerry Woods, CC BY-NC-ND - 4.0