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Yellow Birch

Yellow birch Bark of yellow birch Leaf of yellow birch
Yellow birch
G. Lumis
Bark of yellow birch
G. Lumis
Leaf of yellow birch
G. Lumis

Scientific Name: Betula alleghaniensis

Foliage: Oval with a round base and pointed tip
Bark: Yellow-orange bark that peels and turns to reddish-brown as it ages, decorative 
Height: 60 to 80 feet
Spread: 30 feet
Shape: Irregular crown
Growth Characteristics: Slow-growing

The Yellow Birch is unique in that its twigs emit a wintergreen smell when cut. Interestingly, the average longevity is approximately 150 years and the maximum longevity is over 300 years. One of the largest hardwoods in northeastern North America, the Yellow Birch tree is the most frequently used birch for lumber.

Plant Needs
Zone: 4 to 7
Light: Partial shade to partial sun or full sun
Moisture: Moist soil, drought is damaging
Soil Type: well-drained, fertile loams and moderately well-drained sandy loams

Transplanting should be done in early spring. Fertilize once or twice per year with a specially formulated fertilizer for Birch trees. Water to keep the soil wet or moist a few inches below the surface. Prune to maintain shape, but do not prune during the growing season. Rather, wait until the end of the growing season in the fall. This is especially important because the bronze birch borer is active during the spring and open pruning wounds are inviting to them.

Resistant to birch leafminer but moderately susceptible to bronze birch borer. The bronze birch borer is the most serious pest to the Yellow Birch, however healthy trees are more resistant. 

Iron deficiency may occur, especially in alkaline soils. This is evident by yellowing of the leaves. This problem is refered to as Chlorosis and can be treated by introducing iron tablets into the soil.