Birch trees (Betula spp.)
are a popular choice for the home landscaper. Their distinctive bark and beautiful leaves
make them prized shade and ornamental trees. However, they do demand a little care and
attention. Not just any site or soil condition will do and many trees fail to reach
maturity due to site and soil factors.
Improving Your Birch Tree's Soil
Probably the most important factor for a
healthy birch tree is good soil. The type of soil determines not only how much nutrients
and water the plant has access to, but also how efficiently the tree can use those
nutrients. This can determine whether your birch can successfully withstand the stresses
of growing in an urban environment or fend off pests such as the bronze birch borer. As a
homeowner, the best contribution you can make to your birch tree's soil and to the
long-term viability of your tree is the addition of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi.
Feature Birch Species: Paper Birch
Birch, Paper Betula papyrifera
Small to medium sized tree native to North America. Named for the bark which is white or reddish brown in color and easily peels away from the trunk in sheets like paper.
Type of Tree:
The Paper Birch falls into the following type(s): Ornamental Trees, Shade Trees
The Paper Birch grows to be 40' - 50' feet in height.
The Paper Birch has a spread of about 50' - 70' at full maturity.
This tree grows at a fast growth rate.
This birch does well in full sun.
The Paper Birch grows in well drained acidic soil, sandy or silty soils.
Well drained. The tree is very drought sensitive.
This beech has oval, pyramidal shape.
The leaves from this tree are alternately arranged and roughly triangular in shape and serrated on the edges. They turn yellow in the fall.
Flowers are arranged in long clusters called catkins that hang from the branches is summer.
April - June
The fruit of the paper birch is called a samara which is capable of releasing a million seeds each year.
Additional Information: American Beech
The seeds and bark of the paper birch are a great food source for rabbits, deer and birds.
Historically, paper birch or white birch was used by Indians to make birch bark canoes, and today they still use birch bark to make baskets.
The sap from the paper birch is used in the preparation of beer, wine and birch syrup.
The bark is widely used as a fire starter. Wood of the paper birch is used in the production of paper and also used in manufacturing furniture, toys, indoor basketball courts, doors and canoes.
Birch Tree Trivia
The wood from the birch tree will catch fire even when it is wet.
Tinder fungus grows on paper birch trees
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