Paper Birch, Canoe Birch
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 the northern part of North America. Similar to Betula pendula but larger growing (to 50–90 ft. tall, half as wide), with 4-in.-long leaves that are less densely borne; habit is more open, less weeping. More resistant to borer, leaf miners. Creamy white bark peels off in papery layers.
Native to western Canada and mountainous parts of western U.S. To 15–20 ft. tall, spreading by r...
Native to the mountains of central Europe. Grows extremely slowly to 50–70 ft. or taller and 20&...
Native to the northern part of North America. Similar to Betula pendula but larger growing (t...