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Paper Birch

Betula papyrifera

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Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) at Landsburg Landscape Nursery

Betula papyrifera bark

Betula papyrifera bark

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) at Landsburg Landscape Nursery

Betula papyrifera in fall

Betula papyrifera in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) at Landsburg Landscape Nursery

Betula papyrifera

Betula papyrifera

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  60 feet

Spread:  35 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2

Other Names:  White Birch, Canoe Birch

Description:

The king of the northern birches, with snow-white peeling bark and gold fall color; needs adequate moisture and well-drained soils; a great accent tree, and one of the best for winter value, keep it happy to avoid problems with birch borer

Ornamental Features

Paper Birch has dark green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding gold in the fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The peeling white bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Paper Birch is a deciduous tree with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may 'bleed' sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects

Paper Birch is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Paper Birch will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 35 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Shade 
Applications
Fall Color  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features