Betula papyrifera (paper birch)

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Key Characteristics

  • Leaves are alternate, simple, found on short spur shoots, clustered in 3s with 9 or fewer veins per side, acuminate tipped with a boxy base
  • Bark is creamywhite, peeling steadily in large, thin sheets
  • Fruit consists of cross shaped bracts with two lobes pointing away from the short middle lobe with wide wings
  • Twigs without wintergreen taste or odor
  • This small to medium tree sized tree is shade intolerant and reproduces clonally using root collar sprouting

Sourced from a field lab in Fall 2011


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From Louis Landry

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