The white-barked European white birch—the tree that comes to mind when most people think of birches—has many relatives that resemble it in graceful habit, thin bark peeling in layers, and smallish, fine-toothed leaves that turn from green to glowing yellow in fall. After leaf drop, the delicate limb structure, handsome bark, and small conelike fruits provide a winter display.
All birches need a regular supply of moisture and nutrients; they are generally too greedy for lawns. Nor should they be planted on a patio or where cars will be parked beneath them, since they are all susceptible to aphids that drip honeydew. Bronze birch borer can be a problem in the northern Rocky Mountain states; leaf miners in the Pacific Northwest. Pruned established trees just to remove weak, damaged, or dead growth. To minimize sap bleed, prune in summer or early fall in mild-winter areas; where temperatures remain below freezing, wait until the end of January.
Native to stream banks from Alaska to Oregon, east to Colorado. Shrubby; usually grows to 12–15 ft. tall and wide. Smooth, shiny, cinnamon brown bark. Ovate leaves 2 in. long.
Grows along the shores of southeastern Alaska, south into Canada and parts of the Pacific Northwest an...
Native to stream banks from Alaska to Oregon, east to Colorado. Shrubby; usually grows to 12–15 ...
Native to Russia, Manchuria, and Siberia, these thorny, spiny plants have ferny foliage and spring flo...