PAPER BIRCH Betula papyrifera
Betula papyrifera (paper birch, also known as (American) white birch and canoe birch) is native to northern North America. Paper birch is named for the tree's thin white bark, which often peels in paper like layers from the trunk.
It is a medium-sized deciduous tree typically reaching 20 m (66 feet) tall, and exceptionally to 40 m (130 feet) with a trunk up to 75 cm (30 inches) in diameter. Within forests, it often grows with a single trunk but when grown as a landscape tree it may develop multiple trunks or branch close to the ground.
In older trees, the bark is white, commonly brightly so, flaking in fine horizontal strips to reveal a pinkish or salmon-colored inner bark. It often has small black marks and scars. In individuals younger than five years, the bark appears a brown red color with white lenticels. The bark is highly weather-resistant. It has a high oil content and this gives it its waterproof and weather-resistant characteristics.
The fall color is a bright yellow color that contributes to the bright colors within the northern deciduous forest.
Paper birch may live only 30 years in zones six and up, while trees in colder-climate regions can grow for more than 100 years. B. papyrifera will grow in many soil types, from steep rocky outcrops to flat muskegs of the boreal forest. Best growth occurs in deeper, well drained to dry soils.
Betula papyrifera commonly grows in Canada and the northern United States.
The species is considered vulnerable in Indiana, imperiled in Illinois, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming, and critically imperiled in Colorado and Tennessee.
Paper birch is frequently planted as an ornamental because of its graceful form and attractive bark. The bark changes to the white color at about 3 years of growth. Paper birch grows best in USDA zones 2–6.
B. papyrifera is more resistant to the bronze birch borer than Betula pendula, which is similarly planted as a landscape tree.
Type: Hardy tree
Hardiness zones: 2-8
Minor toxicity: Ingestion of these plants may cause minor illnesses such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Seeds per pack: 20
Germination: These seeds are easy to germinate! Place the seeds just below the surface of the soil, water, and keep moist until germination. Germinate at room temperature. Seeds germinate in about 6 weeks average, though could take 4-8 weeks.