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Paper Birch, White Birch, Canoe Birch

Paper birch in winter bark of paper birch Leaf of paper birch
Paper birch in winter
G. Lumis
Bark of paper birch
G. Lumis
Leaf of paper birch
G. Lumis

Scientific Name: Betula papyrifera

Summary
Foliage: Oval to triangular dark green leaves with saw-toothed edges, yellow fall colour
Bark: On young trees bark is brown, turns white and peels with age
Height: 50 to 70 feet
Spread: 30 feet
Shape: Pyramidal to irregular, often multitrunked
Growth Characteristics: Moderate to fast-growing

It is considered to be one of North America's most attractive tree species and was once used by northern Native Americans to build canoes. This species is a popular landscape tree and is a good selection for Northern climates.

Plant Needs
Zone: 2b to 5a
Light: Full to part sun
Moisture: Even moist soil, performs poorly in heat and drought
Soil Type: Tolerates alkaline soils well

Care
Ensure moist soil for your tree by checking the moisture level a few inches below the surface, water when no longer moist. Water enough to wet the soil 2 to 4 feet deep. Do not prune during the growing season and especially not in spring as this is when the Bronze Birch Borer is active. Fertilize once or twice during the growing season with a specially formulated fertilizer for Birch trees.

Problems
Stressed trees may attract Bronze Birch Borers and Birch leafminers. To limit stress, avoid heat, drought and pruning during the growing season. Performs poorly in compacted soils.