Paper Birch Tree

Paper Birch in early spring

Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera), also called White or Canoe Birch is a deciduous tree found throughout BC, but not as much on the outer coast. The bark of young trees is more brown and turns white as it gets older. The bark is flaky on both the young and the older trees. They can grow on a variety of soils, and from well draining to wetland and bog areas, but they don’t do well in shade. They like a sunny spot, but do not do well in high heat areas. It can grow to about 100 feet (30m). The leaves are oval with a sharp point, double toothed on the edges, and about 3 to 4 inches (8-10cm) long. The Paper Birch is monoecious, which means it has both male and female flowers on the tree. It is wind pollinated and its flowers are called catkins. The female catkins are about 1 to 2 inches (2-4cm) long and stand upright at the tip of branches, where the male are longer and hang down from the branches. The flowers (catkins) appear before or at the same time as the leaves. The tree can produces thousands of little nutlets with little round wings. It takes about 15 years before the tree will start producing seed. This is a good habitat tree as it provides food for many animals and birds, as well as, shelter and nesting.

Comments are closed.