- Broadleaf deciduous tree, to 60-80 ft (18-25 m) tall, crown irregularly rounded, branches wide spreading with drooping tips. Bark thin reddish-brown when young, becoming yellow with thin papery shreds, not easily peeled, with age separating into ragged-edged plates. Leaves simple, alternate, ovate to oblong-ovate, 8-11 cm long, tip slender, sharp pointed, base rounded, margin double toothed, 9-11 pairs of veins each vein ending in a tooth, deep yellowish-green above, lighter below. Male (pollen) catkins 2 cm wide and 2-3 mm wide by fall, about 8 cm long at pollination. Female cone (seed cone) about 3 cm long, erect on spur shoots; ripen in early fall.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Native from Newfoundland to Manitoba, south to the highest peaks of Tennessee and Georgia. The Provincial Tree of Quebec.
- Closely related to and resembles B. lenta, Sweet Birch or Black Birch, some contrasting features are given below (Farrar, 1995). I don't know how accurate or useful they are; any comments?:
|| B. alleghaniensis Yellow Birch
|| B. lenta Sweet Birch
|| frequently over 65 ft (20 m)
|| seldom reaching 65ft (20 m)
|| mostly hairy, pressed against twig
|| mostly hairless, diverging from twig
| Cone scales
|| 5-7 mm long, hairy
|| 6-12 mm long, hairless
| Leaves and young twigs
| moderate wintergreen flavor
|| strong wintergreen flavor
|| reddish brown, becoming dull yellow
|| dark cherry red to blackish, then grayish
- Oregon State Univ., North Willamette Research and Extension Center, Aurora.
- Salem, Oregon: North side of Bush Pasture Park