Size: An erect shrub to 15' tall or a small tree to 40' tall.
Leaves: Simple, alternate (and clustered
on spur shoots), evergreen (often just barely). Obovate in shape; 1/2"-2" wide;
serrated above the midpoint and entire below.
Fruit: A single seed topped by a white,
feathery tail up to 3" long.
Twigs: Slender; reddish-brown; spur
shoots. Gray to reddish-brown.
Bark: Thin and smooth on young trees,
becoming scaly with age.
Distribution: Birchleaf mountain-mahogany likes
the dry foothills and lower mountain slopes of the Coast Ranges and
the Sierra Nevadas
in the southern
portion of its range it also grows eastward into Arizona.