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Betula alleghaniensis

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

Yellow birch is a deciduous tree that may grow 70 to 80 feet tall.  The leaves are alternate with doubly toothed margins and a pointed tip.  The bark on younger trees is shiny bronze and horizontally in thin, papery strips.  Older trees have bark with reddish-brown scaly plates.  The cone is plump and upright and has many hairy scales that each contain 2-winged nutlets.  The twigs smell like wintergreen when broken. 

The Yellow birch is a host plant for Mourning Cloak and Dreamy Duskywing butterflies.  Many moths also use as a host plant.  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/insulate their nests.

Deer resistant.

Regions:  Mountain

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves:        Bloom: Spring       Fruit/Seed/Nut: Late summer

Wildlife Value: Seed and host 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: 


70-80 feet
The Yellow birch tree prefers moist soil in a sunny to partly sunny location.
The leaves of the Yellow birch tree are alternate with doubly toothed margins and a pointed tip.

NCCES plant id: 3157

Betula alleghaniensis Betula alleghaniensis
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