How tall do white birch trees grow


How to Grow and Care for a Paper Birch Tree

The paper birch tree (Betula papyrifera) is a fast-growing but short-lived tree that often develops multiple trunks as the plant matures. The most distinctive characteristic of this deciduous tree is the peeling bark, which contrasts sharply against the green leaves that turn bright yellow in fall. The peeling white bark blends well with winter's snowy surroundings. Historically, this was the birch tree used by Native Americans to construct birch-bark canoes—hence the alternative common name, "canoe birch."

The leaves of this tree grow 2 to 4 inches long with double-toothed margins. The small dry fruit (nutlets) form in clusters on drooping catkins that turn brown upon maturity. The paper birch, being a monoecious tree, bears both male and female catkins. Similar to most other birch trees, the paper birch likes a moist environment, making it the perfect accompaniment to a stream or pond feature in your yard.

Common Names Paper birch, American white birch, canoe birch
Botanical Name Betula papyrifera 
Family Betulaceae
Plant Type Tree
Mature Size 50-70 ft. tall, 25-50 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Partial
Soil Type Sandy, loamy, moist
Soil pH Acidic, neutral
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color Yellow, brown (male), or green (female)
Hardiness Zones 2-7 (USDA)
Native Area North America

Paper Birch Tree Care

Birches, in general, are well known as water-loving trees and are not very drought resistant. It is best planted in an area that is naturally moist and will require a lot of watering if planted in dry soils or in areas where it must compete with other plants. Do not plant paper birch in compacted soil or in climates that have periods of intense heat.

Paper birch grows best if you can cover the ground beneath its canopy with a thick layer of mulch to keep the soil moist and cool. Rather than planting lawn grass right up to the trunk, a mulch island around the tree is a good idea.

You will need to be on guard for pest problems with this tree, as some can be quite devastating. And be prepared to remove older trees, as this species is not long-lived.

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Light

Paper birch prefers the partial shade conditions found along margins where other taller trees are growing, but it can grow acceptably if planted in full sun, especially in cooler climates.

Soil

Paper birch grows best in sandy or rocky loam soil that is fairly moist. It naturally favors acidic soil but will do fine in soil with a neutral pH, or even slightly alkaline.

Water

Preferring moist soil, this tree will need to be watered frequently if planted in a lawn location where it must compete with turfgrass. It will require less watering if planted alongside a stream, pond, or bog where conditions are naturally moist.

Temperature and Humidity

This tree grows best in cooler climates and cool soil temperatures. Keeping the soil cool and moist by heavy mulching is a good strategy for trees that can't be planted in a naturally moist location. Near the southern end of the hardiness range (zones 6 and 7), this tree sometimes struggles; it prefers a climate with long winters and coolish summers.

Fertilizing

A spring feeding routine with a slow-release granular fertilizer mixed into the soil beneath a layer of organic mulch will help the paper birch resist bronze birch borers. For the amount to use, follow the product label instructions. Avoid excessive feeding.

Types of Paper Birch Tree

The pure species, Betula papyrifera, is most commonly planted, but there are two cultivars that can be considered:

  • 'Chickadee' has a narrower, pyramidal shape and is somewhat more resistant to the bronze birch borer than the pure species tree.
  • 'Snowy' is an especially fast-growing variety with a dazzling white bark. It also has good resistance to the bronze birch borer.

Pruning

Paper birch may form one or several trunks. Once a central leader has been identified, you can prune the tree to favor a singular trunk. Other than the occasional shaping, paper birch does not need much pruning. The tree tends to shed smaller branches on its own. Their attachment to the main trunk is so weak, you often don't have to prune off dead limbs—they just fall off when they are ready.

Do not prune in late winter or early spring or your tree will bleed sap in an attempt to heal the wound. While sap bleeding is not necessarily detrimental to the tree's health, it can cause an unsightly mess, and excessive open wounds can make the tree susceptible to pests.

Propagating a Paper Birch Tree

Although the success rate is usually only about 50 percent, birch trees can sometimes be propagated by rooting branch cuttings. Here's how:

  1. Cut a 6- to 8-inch-long green branch tip, making the cut just below a leaf node. Remove all the leaves from the bottom 3 inches of the cutting. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone, then plant it in a small pot filled with standard potting soil.
  2. Cover the planting pot loosely with a clear plastic bag and place it in a bright location but out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not soggy for about eight weeks, until roots develop.
  3. Transplant the rooted cutting into the desired landscape location, into a hole where the soil has been amended with peat moss and sand. Be careful not to break the young roots as you transplant the cutting into the ground.
  4. Keep the soil moist but not soggy for the next eight weeks. At this point, if the planted cutting is developing new growth, you know that a successful tree is beginning to grow. The growing sapling can now be fed with diluted fertilizer.

How to Grow Paper Birch Trees From Seed

Collect paper birch seeds in the fall, when the catkins start to brown. The seeds are small, with wings that help them fly on the breeze. Place the seeds in a small container filled with compost or humus. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of potting soil and sprinkle them with water.

Place the container in an area where the seeds can stratify, such as in a refrigerator or an unheated garage during winter. They need to be in the cold for six months.

After the six months is over, set the container on a sunny windowsill for light and warmth. The soil should be kept moist. The seeds should sprout within a few weeks. Thin out the seedlings until you have one strong contender. This can be planted in the ground in the spring after all danger of frost has passed.

Overwintering

A good layer of mulch underneath the tree will help it through the winter. Also, keep an eye on the water the tree is getting. Snowfall can often give a tree what it needs during the winter, but if you are facing a period of little to no snow, additional watering can help keep the ground moist.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

All birches can fall victim to the bronze birch borer, a devastating insect pest. An affected tree will show yellowing leaves that begin to shed, and the tips of the branches will turn brown. These symptoms generally start at the top of the tree and move downward. Paper birch is one of the more resistant of the birch species, but if bronze birch borer does strike your tree, prune off affected limbs as you see them, and use a pesticide designed to control the insects. Badly affected trees will need to be removed and replaced.

Aphids, birch skeletonizers, and birch leaf miners can also wreak havoc on trees that have become weakened due to drought. Make sure your trees are not competing with your lawn for moisture. Another potential drought problem is birch dieback, where the branches of the birch tree die out over time. Conversely, trees that are watered too much can become prone to fungal problems, including leaf spots and cankers.

11 Common Species of Birch Trees

Identified by their unique bark, birch trees look lovely in the landscape.

By

Vanessa Richins Myers

Vanessa Richins Myers

Vanessa Richins Myers is a seasoned horticulturist, writer, and educator with over 10 years of training and experience as a professional horticulturist and gardener. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture, with an emphasis in landscape design and urban horticulture. She volunteers as a community garden specialist.

Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process

Updated on 07/29/22

Reviewed by

Andrew Hughes

Reviewed by Andrew Hughes

Andrew Hughes is a certified arborist and member of the International Society of Arborists specializing in tree heal care. He founded and runs Urban Loggers, LLC, a company offering residential tree services in the Midwest and Connecticut.

Learn more about The Spruce's Review Board

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Birch trees belong to the genus Betula and are classified as part of the Betulaceae family of plants. They are typically small to medium-sized trees and shrubs found in temperate zones across the Northern Hemisphere. Some varieties grow in shrubby clusters. Others are trees that clump with multiple trunks, and still more grow as classic single-trunk trees. Ask anyone what's special about a birch tree and its beautiful bark immediately comes to mind. Birches are a common choice in landscaping, but they are relatively short-lived trees when compared to other hardwoods, and many become damaged by insects and diseases.

Tip

Most birches are characterized by varicolored or white bark with papery plates, distinctive horizontal markings, and peeling layers; the appearance of the bark often is the feature that gives the species its common name.

Click Play to Learn About Common Species of Birch Trees

Most birch trees grow best in moist soil and they love full sun. However, the roots might head for your plumbing pipes if a large tree is planted too close to your house. Do not let this deter you though; these are magnificent trees that are not hard to grow and should be a choice for your landscape. Birches are fast-growing trees that can quickly provide benefits to your yard.

Insect pests are most likely to strike a birch tree in areas where it is wounded or diseased. By keeping your trees well pruned and free of damaged branches, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of infestation by bronze birch borer or other insects.

Here are 11 common types of birch trees to consider for your landscape and areas where they are typically grown in the United States and around the world.

  • 01 of 11

    Bog Birch (Betula pumila)

    Western Arctic National Parklands/Flickr/CC 2. 0

    Bog birch is a medium-sized, short-lived, clump-forming shrub that thrives in wet sites. The plant tolerates occasional flooding, alkaline soil, clay soil, and road salt. When planted in residential landscapes, it grows well around bodies of water or in boggy areas. Bog birch is a good choice for rain gardens.

    Other common names include swamp birch, glandular birch, dwarf birch, and resin birch.

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 to 9 
    • Height: 5 to 10 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 02 of 11

    F. D. Richards / Flickr/ CC By 2.0

    River birch is an increasingly popular, fast-growing tree for the home landscape. It may grow either as a single-trunk tree or a multi-trunk clumping tree. It has distinctive salmon-pink to reddish-brown bark that exfoliates to reveal lighter inner bark providing year-round interest in the landscape. Dark green foliage turns a beautiful buttery yellow in the fall.  River birch has good resistance to the bronze birch borer. It is one of the only truly heat-tolerant birches.

    River birch may also be known as red birch, black birch, or water birch.

    • Native Area: Eastern U.S.
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9 
    • Height: 40 to 70 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 03 of 11

    Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

    Stephen Robson / Getty Images

    Cherry birch is a large tree that grows from a single main trunk. Shiny, red-brown bark and yellow foliage make this an attractive tree for lawns and naturalized areas. The bark on mature trees develops vertical cracks that form irregular scaly plates, closely resembling the bark of cherry trees. Flowering in April and May, the tree produces fruiting catkins from August through October and serves as a food source for deer, moose, rabbits, and various birds. This tree also attracts beautiful butterflies to the landscape and is resistant to the bronze birch borer which can devastate other species of birch. Its broken twigs emit a spicy wintergreen fragrance and fermented sap is an ingredient used in birch beer.

    Regionally, the cherry birch may be called by other common names, including black birch, sweet birch, mahogany birch, Virginia roundleaf birch, or spice birch.

    • Native Area: Eastern U.S., from Maine to northern Georgia
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8 
    • Height: 40 to 70 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 04 of 11

    MAKY_OREL / Pixabay / CC By 0

    Betula nana is a small dwarf shrub, native to arctic and cool temperate regions, especially tundra landscapes. It will grow in a variety of conditions, though it favors wet but well-drained sites with a rocky, nutrient-poor, acidic soil. It does not tolerate shade well. The dwarf birch is rarely planted in landscapes, but it is important to cover vegetation in cold northern territories.

    Other names for this tree include bog birch and arctic birch.

    • Native Areas: Greenland, Iceland, northern Europe, northern Asia, and northern North America
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 1 to 8 
    • Height: 6 inches to 3 feet tall 
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 05 of 11

     

    Eerik / Getty Images

    The silver birch has an attractive pendulous habit and distinctive white bark that peels away in papery strips. It grows as a single-trunk tree that gradually transforms from pyramidal in shape to a more rounded, oval crown. Also known as weeping birch or European white birch, the silver birch was once used extensively in landscapes, but its high susceptibility to the bronze birch borer has limited its use in more recent years.

    • Native Area: Europe, Asia
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 to 7; can be grown in 8 and 9 but will have a shorter life
    • Height: 40 to 80 feet, depending on cultivar
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun  
  • 06 of 11

    John Lord / Flickr / CC By 2. 0

    The ornamental interest of Himalayan birch includes pretty spring flowers, rich yellow fall color, and bright white papery bark. It is a medium-sized tree with a single trunk that quickly branches out into a pyramid shape. This birch species is very vulnerable to damage by the bronze birch borer and usually requires removal and/or replacement, especially in warmer zones. It is a heartier and longer-lived tree in cooler climates.

    This tree has other common names, including white-barked Himalayan birch and jacquemonti birch.

    • Native Area: West Himalayas, Nepal
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 7 
    • Height: 30 to 50 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun; can take some light shade 
  • 07 of 11

    Japanese White Birch (Betula platyphylla 'Japanica')

    View Photos/a.collectionRF / Getty Images

    This species, also known as Asian white birch, is a medium to large tree with white bark and thin spreading branches that terminate in drooping branchlets. This tree grows best in medium to wet, well-drained, sandy, or rocky loam. Although it prefers full sun, the Japanese white birch thrives in northern and eastern exposures that receive some afternoon shade. The main requirement is a consistently moist soil. Like several other members of the birch family, this birch performs best in cooler climates; with warmer zones causing increased susceptibility to birch borer insects.

    • Native Area: Manchuria, Korea, Japan
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8 
    • Height: 40 to 50 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade 
  • 08 of 11

    Plant Image Library / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    Primarily native to Alaska, Canada, and northern U.S. states, this tree has lovely white bark and yellow fall color. It can grow either as a single-trunk tree or in small clumps with multiple trunks. Paper bark birch is so-named due to the thin white bark which often peels in paper-like layers from the trunk. It also is known as the canoe birch or white birch. This is the classic birch tree historically used to make many useful products from footwear to birch-bark canoes. Buds, catkins, and leaves along with twigs and bark are a source of food for birds and other wildlife. The paper bark birch demonstrates some resistance to the bronze birch borer. 

    • Native Area: Northern North America
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 to 7 
    • Height: 45 to 100 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade
  • 09 of 11

    Weeping Birches (Betula pendula var.)

    Ron Evans / Getty Images

    Trees known as weeping birches generally are different naturally-occurring or cultivated varieties of silver birch (Betula pendula), described above. Exact details such as growing zones and height will depend on the particular variety.

     Common varieties include:

    • Curly birch (B. pendula 'Carelica')
    • Cutleaf weeping European birch (B. pendula 'Gracilis')
    • Golden cloud weeping birch (B. pendula 'Golden Cloud')
    • Purple weeping birch (B. pendula 'Purpurea')
    • Swedish birch (B. pendula 'Dalecarlica' or 'Laciniata')
    • Tristis weeping birch (B. pendula 'Tristis')
    • Young's weeping birch (B. pendula 'Youngii') (pictured)
  • 10 of 11

    Water Birch (Betula occidentalis or Betula fontinalis)

    Thayne Tuason / Wikimedia Commons / CC By 4.0

    Water birch typically occurs along streams in mountainous regions, where it grows in dense thickets. The bark is dark red-brown to blackish, and smooth. Unlike other birch trees, its bark does not peel. This tree is a source of food and lodge material for the common North American beaver.

    Other common names for this tree include western birch, red birch, river birch, black birch, and western red birch.

    • Native Area: Western North America, mountainous regions
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7 
    • Height: Shrubby form can grow 25 feet tall; as a tree, to 40 feet 
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade  
  • 11 of 11

    Cora Niele / Getty Images

    Yellow birch, named for the color of its bark, is a relatively long-lived birch that typically grows for 150 years and may even age to 300 years in old-growth forests. It is a single-stemmed tree with yellow-bronze bark that peels in narrow horizontal strips. This is an important species to the North American lumber industry and a major woodland food source for birds and wildlife.

    Yellow birch may be known regionally as swamp birch, curly birch, gold birch, or hard birch.

    • Native Area: Northeastern North America
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7 
    • Height: 50 to 80 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade  

The various species of birch trees in the Betula genus include at least these 11 that are important landscape trees. Birch trees offer interesting bark color and texture and attractive foliage, but they are relatively short-lived and they are prone to suffer from diseases and insects, especially the bronze birch borer. But birches still make excellent, fast-growing landscape specimens, provided you have realistic expectations.

6 Types of Birch Trees with Gorgeous Fall Foliage

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Bog Birch. The Morton Arboretum.

  2. The Bronze Birch Borer and Its Management. University of Minnesota Extension Service.

White birch: description, interesting facts (photo)

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Thanks to the dark stripes and dashes, white birch can easily endure both heat and cold. When it gets too hot, they open and allow air to enter the plant, in frosts, on the contrary, they close tightly and do not allow to freeze. The viability of the tree still surprises scientists: after its branches were taken out of the freezer several times, the temperature inside of which was -273 ° C, they thawed and came to life.

Contents:

  • 1 The most famous tree in Russia
  • 2 Description
  • 3 Wood
  • 4 Flowering
  • 5 Therapeutic characteristics of the tree

The most famous tree in Russia

Birch belongs to the genus of deciduous trees and shrubs of the birch family, which includes about 120 species. Sixty-five species grow in Russia. The tree is widespread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and therefore it can be seen not only in Eurasia, but also in North America, in warm countries with sandy soil, and even beyond the Arctic Circle.

Such a wide area of ​​distribution is explained by the fact that white birch is undemanding, perfectly tolerates both heat and permafrost, takes root on any soil. These plants, however, are photophilous, but among them there are many shade-tolerant trees.

The people called the tree “white birch” not by chance: the color that distinguishes the birch trunk so brightly among deciduous plants is due to the organic dye betulin, which contains a large amount of silver ions that have an antimicrobial effect (for this reason, there are few microbes near plants, and medicines and products made from it have a medicinal effect). Accordingly, in the soil of a birch grove, the number of this chemical element is greater than in the lands of a mixed forest.

True, birch bark is not white in every species: in some plants it can be yellowish, pinkish, brown, and also gray, brown and even black.

Description

According to their descriptions, most species have a height of 30 to 45 meters, although very small specimens are often found: the height of the smallest tree in the world is from one to one and a half meters, and some shrubs even spread along the ground. Once a tree sprouts, it grows extremely slowly in the first years, but the older it gets, the faster it grows.

Birch roots are strong and, depending on the type of soil, are either superficial or go deep into the ground at an angle. Birch in spring has a very high humidity: inside the plant, an increased movement of juice begins, when nutrients from the soil rush upward through the roots.

At this time, many people collect the sap of the plant: they make incisions through which the liquid rushes out and is able to flow out for several weeks (a tall tree can produce about a bucket of sap in a day). As a result of this, the white birch is greatly depleted, and viruses enter through the wounds, which can cause the death of the plant. Therefore, after collecting the juice, the bark must be covered with clay or resin.

Birch leaves are alternate (arranged in a spiral, with one leaf leaving each node of the stem), entire, serrated along the edge, smooth, about seven centimeters long and four centimeters wide. In spring, young leaves are sticky, then this ability is gradually lost. Birch sheds its leaves in autumn, before falling, birch leaves turn yellow.

Wood

White birch has a strong, dense light wood with a slight pink or yellowish tint. The pattern on it is weakly expressed, wavy, annual rings are almost not visible, reddish, randomly scattered spots are characteristic. One of the most beautiful woods is the Karelian birch, a low plant that has a strongly deformed trunk in the form of spherical swellings and tubercles.

Previously, the Karelian birch was considered a separate species, but now biologists have come to the conclusion that it is a warty (drooping) birch, the trunk of which is deformed under certain conditions. Therefore, the age of the tree is short: the Karelian birch lives for about forty years (some species live up to one hundred and eighty), and therefore does not have time to grow, and its height is about twenty-five meters.

Karelian birch has become famous for its marble-like texture and color: brown spots on a golden background (due to its properties, expensive products have long been made from it: furniture, decorative fakes, souvenirs). Scientists still have not come to a common opinion about the reasons for the appearance of such amazing pattern. Among the main assumptions why the Karelian birch has patterned wood, put forward such versions as:

  • violation of mineral nutrition;
  • viral infection;
  • hereditary disease.

Despite the fact that when two plants of this species are crossed, the Karelian birch inherits its amazing structure, the decorative features do not always completely pass, and it is possible to determine whether the wood will have a pattern no earlier than in five years.

Karelian birch is also of particular value because it is very rare, and therefore its cost exceeds 1.5 thousand dollars, and is sold not by cubic meters, but by weight, in kilograms.

Flowering

All types of birches are monoecious plants (they have flowers of the same sex, which have both pistils and stamens), flowering occurs in spring, birch pollen is carried by the wind.

First, in complex inflorescences (birch catkins), two or three male flowers up to four centimeters long appear in summer. They consist of a huge number of thyroid scales fused with the main rod of a stalked shape. These plates expand closer to the top, below they have two small scales, each of which has three flowers on the inside, where the stamens are located.

Outside, the male earring is covered with a resinous substance, which prevents moisture from penetrating inside and allows you to calmly spend the winter. The birch wakes up in the spring, the male catkin lengthens, the scales of the flower open and stamens appear, from which the birch is dusted in all directions. After that, men's earrings, which until then were absolutely straight, bend and hang.

Women's birch catkins are not so noticeable: they are much smaller, thinner, more inconspicuous, similar to small greenish mouse tails. They develop from last year's lateral buds and are always on the side of the branch. They bloom together with male catkins and during flowering contain a large number of flowers, inside of which there are two ovules.

Birch dusting occurs with the help of wind, when birch pollen falls on a flower, one ovule dries up, and the second develops: the female catkin begins to lengthen and, due to the increase in the size of the scales, begins to resemble an oblong cone, which crumbles after the fruits ripen in them.

Seeds, having fallen from a tree (since they are very light, the wind can carry them a hundred meters from the mother tree), are able to immediately begin to germinate, and if conditions are unfavorable, they go into a dormant state and, if necessary, can hatch for several years.

Healing properties of wood

White birch has long been famous for its healing properties, and people have learned to use various parts of the plant (wood, bark, sap, buds, leaves) for their own benefit long ago. Moreover, they are used both in medicine and in other fields of activity.
The medicinal properties of birch can hardly be overestimated: the bark and branches of birch contain betulin, which turns them white and contains a high percentage of silver. Betulin, getting into the blood, improves liver function, reduces pain in the joints.

Birch sap, decoctions strengthen the immune system, and the plant itself has a beneficial effect on health. Scientists have found that people living near a birch grove are much less likely to get colds, since the volatile phytoncides secreted by the tree inhibit the growth and development of bacteria. Therefore, products where a birch branch is used are especially valuable. For example, manufactured brooms, under the influence of hot air, release phytoncides, which sterilize the air and fill it with antiseptics.

In its buds, white birch contains about five percent essential oil, ascorbic acid, higher fatty acids, and various resinous substances. Birch leaves have healing properties, which also contain tannins, as well as flamanoids, which improve the elasticity of blood vessels and prevent sclerotic diseases.

Tar is obtained from the bark of the plant, which has long been used in medicine as an antiseptic. From the top layer of tree bark, birch bark, which has high strength, they get excellent material for various crafts: baskets, bast shoes, various kitchen utensils. The peoples of the Far East made boats from it, and in Russia it served as paper (birch bark): scribes wrote on it with writing, sharp bone sticks.

White birch: description, interesting facts (photo)

Cultivation

Agricultural technology

Silver birch is distributed almost throughout the country. We have about 120 types of it.

Silver birch forms derivative forests that appear on the site of cut down or burnt pine, spruce, larch, and oak forests. It quickly populates the liberated territories and dominates them, creating only temporary groupings; later replaced by other tree species. Indigenous stands form only in the forest-steppe and steppe regions, especially in Western Siberia, where it forms birch groves characteristic of the landscape of the forest-steppe zone. Often found in different types of forest as an admixture. It grows on dry and wet sandy, loamy, chernozem and stony-gravelly soils. It tolerates various climatic conditions, is highly winter-hardy (excellent), drought-resistant (good), therefore it grows from the tundra to the steppe zone. Grows quickly, well renewed by shoots and self-seeding. The seeds are carried by the wind and take root easily in dry and moist soils.

It is almost undamaged by diseases and pests (good). Regularly blooms and bears fruit (good). Earrings bloom at the end of April, when the leaves bloom, the fruits ripen in August. Photophilous, but tolerates partial shade, prefers light, fresh soils.

Varieties

Along with drooping birch, other types of birch are also used to obtain medicinal raw materials: downy, flat-leaved and Manchurian.

Diseases and pests

Insecticide treatment helps to prevent damage to plantings by dangerous factors in advance. If this is not done on time, you should be wary of attacks:

  • borers;
  • aphids;
  • linden hawk hawk;
  • moths.

Special preparations should also be used at the first symptoms of an attack. Rescue available in the arsenal of any responsible gardener "Aktellik" and "Aktara". You can also take the lesser-known "Confidor", "Envidor" and "Karate". For your information: the most aggressive pest is the scoop, the May beetle is only slightly inferior to it. The application of insecticides is mandatory as soon as at least one of their individuals is seen.

Dwarf birch often suffers from fungi and other infections. But this is not a problem for experienced gardeners - any universal fungicides help out. Special prophylaxis against pests and pathologies should ideally be carried out once a month. This is usually enough to rule out any problems. The plant is quite resistant to the notorious "chemistry" if you follow the instructions.

Another thing to take care of is protection from:

  • thrips;
  • silkworms;
  • leaf sawflies;
  • powdery mildew infestations.

Planting and care

Despite the fact that this type of birch is undemanding in terms of lighting, a planting site must be chosen carefully, based on some details. If you want to plant several trees on your site, then calculate in advance the required area and the gap between seedlings. The distance between them should be about 4 m. This is explained very simply - since the plant grows and adds growth over the years, so nothing should limit it.

Try to maintain the necessary distance from other objects on the site so that the trees do not get lost. Limit their planting away from fruitful species, which, in turn, take useful components and moisture from the soil, making it unsuitable for other crops.

After you have chosen a suitable place, you can start landing. To do this, you need to dig a hole, free it from the remnants of foliage and weeds. The size of the recess should allow for free placement of the tree, but not too deep. An excessively deep hole can cause the plant to die within a short time due to lack of moisture. Add some sand, black soil and humus to the landing site. Water the seedlings abundantly until they are fully rooted. The tree does not need pruning, but dry branches should be removed periodically.

Birch is propagated by a twig that has taken root, or by seeds. Seeds germinate very quickly, it all depends on sunlight, humidity levels and air temperature. Seedlings are planted only in the spring, before the start of sap flow.

Despite the fact that the Erman birch has strong immunity and resistance to diseases and pests, it is still subject to attack by dangerous caterpillars, silkworms and Maybugs. They eat not only foliage, but also roots. Also dangerous is the pipe beetle, which harms young branches. Insecticide solutions are used to control pests.

Often due to unfavorable climatic conditions, fungal diseases can occur that destroy the wood. These are tinder fungi that form on the trunk of a tree. They need to be removed in a timely manner and spray the infected areas with fungicides.

Botanical description of the drooping (fluffy) birch

The fluffy birch is the most popular tree in our country and, perhaps, the most beautiful. It is difficult to find another tree equal to it in beauty.

Starting the description of the downy birch, it is worth noting that this tree is a mesophanerophyte, a single-stemmed deciduous tree, monoecious.

Continuing the botanical description of the drooping birch, it is worth saying that its height reaches 20 m in height, has a trunk with smooth white bark, dark and deeply fissured at the base. The branches are drooping, one-year-old - red-brown, covered with resinous warts. The leaves are triangular or rhombic-ovate, broadly cuneate at the base, 3.5–7 cm long. Nutlet oblong-elliptical, wings 2–3 times wider than nutlet.

Continuing to consider the characteristics of drooping birch, we will tell you that it blooms in the spring, at a time when its buds are just beginning to bloom, and the leaves are still very small. It is not difficult to notice the flowering of the tree: long yellowish catkins hang down from thin branches. These are male inflorescences, consisting of many staminate flowers. Earrings produce a large amount of yellow powdery pollen, which is carried far by the wind.

Women's earrings are much smaller than men's, inconspicuous, inconspicuous, similar to small greenish mouse tails. They are no thicker than a match. These earrings contain many tiny female flowers, consisting of only one pistil. After flowering, female earrings grow strongly. They turn into small green “cylinders”, which turn brown at the end of summer and begin to crumble into separate parts of small three-lobed scales and tiny membranous fruitlets.

See how the downy birch looks like in the photo showing the trunk, branches, leaves and other important parts of the tree:

Features of the tree such a feature. The root system can also be very different. In woody forms, it is large and massive, going deep into the ground. Branched roots lying on the surface of the earth are characteristic of artisanal species.

Bark shades vary from light, almost white, to red and brown. The foliage varies in size and color, but most species have small serrations at the ends of the leaves. Their average width is about 5 centimeters, the surface is even and smooth. With the advent of spring, the branches are covered with sticky leaves. With the advent of autumn, they turn yellow and crumble.

Birch is very important for the forest ecosystem or planting. It is home to many types of insects, including caterpillars. Also, many types of useful mushrooms grow near its trunk: boletus, russula, milk mushroom, porcini mushroom and others. Representatives of this family are distributed not only in Russia and neighboring countries. They can be found in Europe, Asia and North America.

All types are divided into two large groups.

  • Trees that vary in height from 20-30 to 50 meters. The diameter of the trunk can reach up to one and a half meters.
  • Shrubs have more compact dimensions.

Do not forget about the industrial sector.

  • Birch is famous for its beautiful and strong wood. Due to its high strength index, it is used for the manufacture of plywood, furniture and finishing materials.
  • Tar has found its application in cosmetology and medicine. The substance is obtained from wood by dry distillation.
  • Leaves can be processed to produce natural yellow dye.
  • During flowering birch attracts many bees. Pollen plants are important for the honey industry.
  • The top layer of bark, called birch bark, is often used as a combustible substance. He also found his application in needlework.
  • Birch sap is good for health, and is also the main component for the preparation of syrups and decoctions. Beekeepers often feed their bees.
  • Birch leaves, buds and branches have found their application in medicine. They make bactericidal, diuretic and other drugs.

Significance and uses

Birch has many useful qualities. In Russia, this tree has always been loved not only for its beauty, but also for its great benefits in everyday life and medicine.

Ways to use birch:

  1. As a food product. Edible parts are: bast, flowers, juice and leaves. Young leaves of the tree are used fresh or after heat treatment. They can be dried and then brewed into tea. Birch sap can be consumed in its pure form or beer can be made from it by adding a certain amount of honey. A powder is made from the bast, which is used in food as a thickener. Dried flowers are also added to herbal infusions and teas.
  2. Medicinal product. The bark of the tree has diuretic, laxative properties. Bast is used to prepare medicinal ointments against skin diseases. Birch buds have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, expectorant effects. Shoots and leaves, interacting with alkali, have a laxative, tonic effect. Also, an infusion of the leaves is used against inflammatory diseases of the joints. A decoction of the leaves has a beneficial effect on the dissolution of kidney stones. Birch sap is used as a remedy for edema. Chaga mushroom, which grows only on a healthy tree, is widely used by physicians to treat various diseases. Healing properties have shampoos, soaps based on birch tar. Essential oil is made from bast.
  3. Construction material. Birch bark has water-repellent properties, so it is great for roofing, boat construction. Branches are also used to make roofs.
  4. Decorative properties. Soft, delicate birch wood is easy to process, making it possible to create unique souvenirs and decorative items. Birch burl is also used to make special wooden crafts. Usually, a solid burl bar is used, endowed with unique patterns of growth rings on the cut. Such products do not need additional processing with a tool to create a picture, since nature has already created it.
  5. Household use. Birch firewood is the hottest, "long-playing". Dishes are made from birch bark. Wood is used to make charcoal, activated carbon, vinegar, alcohol, turpentine, paper. Glue is made from birch sap. Lyko is ideal for making strong ropes, ropes. Bath brooms are made from birch branches, baskets are woven. Different parts of birch are used to make different paints. The bark is excellent for the production of professional artistic charcoal crayons.

Peculiarities of birch

In the summer cottage you can often find wood products: oak, spruce, pine and other species. But birch in this case has a number of advantages:

  • with birch wood it is easier to perform any manipulations, since it has average density and hardness;
  • it has a slightly pronounced texture, the structure is uniform;
  • such material is not only easy to nail, it lends itself to high-quality gluing with special glue;
  • with the help of special paints and varnishes, a figure made of such wood can be given a reliable aesthetic appearance that will last for quite a long time.

Users of this material singled out the following from the minuses:

  • excessive drying of birch wood is prone to cracking;
  • is considered resistant to decay;
  • has a high probability of wormholes.

The deficiencies noted above can be easily corrected with available chemical solutions.

Distribution of drooping or warty birch

drooping or warty birch has a vast area of ​​distribution, covering the entire European part of Russia, Western Siberia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. The drooping birch is widespread in the Northern, Middle and Southern Urals and is the main forest-forming species of small-leaved forests, forming the second tier in pine-birch forests. Occasionally found in the southern regions of the Polar Urals, exclusively in river valleys outside the mountain areas.

Downy birch in the Northern, Middle and Southern Urals is distributed sporadically in all areas, prefers damp swampy forests, edges of sphagnum bogs, floodplains, clearings and burnt areas. In the Polar Urals, it occurs occasionally, mainly in mountain low forests.

Studying the description of the warty birch, you can learn an interesting fact that it is called the pioneer tree. It is the first of the tree species to capture any free patch of land: abandoned arable land, bare slopes near roads, conflagrations, etc. This is the first settler in any areas freed from the forest. Birch can be found even in places that seem completely unsuitable for plants in general: on the eaves of old stone houses, crumbling brick walls, etc.

The widespread distribution of birch is due to two reasons. Firstly, the fact that its tiny winged fruits are easily carried by the wind and often turn out to be very far from the mother tree. And secondly, birch is an unpretentious tree species. It can grow on almost any soil, ranging from very dry and poor sands to lowland swamps, where there is an excess of water and a lot of nutrients. In this respect, it surpasses even the extremely unpretentious pine. But the birch is very photophilous and does not tolerate shading at all. Therefore, usually in the forest, sooner or later, it is replaced by other trees.

Spruce is the eternal enemy of birch. This coniferous tree often settles under the canopy of a birch forest and feels great here. Who has not seen an old birch forest with numerous young fir trees? Sometimes there are so many of them that they form impenetrable thickets. Time passes, young Christmas trees grow up and displace the birch, which once gave them shelter under its canopy. A spruce forest reigns in place of a birch forest. In the natural course of events, if there are no fires and human intervention, the spruce forest will never give way to a birch forest.

Old firs in the forest will gradually die off one by one, and younger ones will take their place. Bereza access is closed here.

So, if you see a birch forest in nature, it is almost always a derived forest. It was formed on the site of a cut down primary forest, most often coniferous.

See how the warty birch looks like in the photo, which illustrates the facts of the struggle of this tree with conifers:

Botanical description . The culture also has other names - warty birch (Betula verrucosa), weeping birch, hanging birch.

The culture has a special life form – meso-phanerophyte. This includes various trees and shrubs. These are plants whose renewal buds are located above the ground, the height varies from 8 to 60 meters. Under special conditions, the birch grows up to 35 meters, the diameter of the trunk varies from 60 to 80 centimeters. It has a single trunk and spreading crown, smooth white bark that can peel off in thin layers. Closer to the root, the trunk becomes black-gray and rough. The trunk of young birches initially has a brown tint, and closer to 10 years it becomes white.

Birch is a monoecious plant, that is, inflorescences of different sexes (pistillate and staminate) are on the same crop. The female fruits begin to appear in the spring when the leaves open. Men's earrings - in the fall. They grow in bunches of 1-4 pieces; during growth, the earrings lengthen by 2-4 times. Flowering takes place in June, for 15-20 days.

The branches of this birch species are drooping. Young shoots of branches that are not a year old usually have a reddish-brown hue. They have wart glands.

Red-brown buds, sticky, with a specific smell and taste of resin. Anatomical and morphological features of the leaves: they reach a size of 3.5-7 centimeters in length, 2.5-5.5 centimeters in width, have a triangular-rhombic or deltoid shape with doubly sharp-toothed edges.

After the leaves have blossomed, their surface becomes sticky and smooth. On the front side, the leaf is shiny, dark green in color, on the reverse underside, the surface is matte and green. The size of the petioles is small, 2-3 times shorter than the leaf itself. The leaf arrangement is alternate.

Birch leaves are used to determine the environmental characteristics (degree of pollution) of the environment, for this, the fluctuating asymmetry method is used (these are slight deviations from mirror symmetry). With small deviations, one can judge the influence of adverse factors. For evaluation, a scale with five points is used, where 1 point is the norm, and 5 points is a critical condition. An asymmetry of 5 points is found in areas with a high rate of transport and industrial emissions.

The crop can grow in such conditions, as it has high dust and gas trapping characteristics. The fruits are oval in shape and have small wings. In one earring, the number of nuts can reach 500 pieces. From September to the end of February, the fruits fall from the birch.

Birch is characterized by rather intensive growth, but its root system is weak. During strong winds or storms, the tree is most prone to fall. Under favorable conditions, a culture can live from 120 to 150 years. The birch has a positive attitude to light - it is a light-loving culture, sometimes slight shading is allowed.

There is also a decorative dwarf species of drooping birch - a birch on a bole. Such a crop has a smaller size that can be controlled by shaping pruning.

Planting

Most birch species are not particularly demanding on the soil. But culture develops best on moist sandy lands or loam. The abundance of lime in the soil is recommended to be avoided, since the tree may not take root well and grow weak. Increased acidity should also be corrected. An important point to consider is the height of the tree. If a tall variety is purchased, take care that over the years the tree does not collide with the power line or, felled in the event of a storm, does not fall on a residential building.

The landing site should be well lit, but it is better if it is morning light. In the afternoon, shade is recommended, so many summer residents plant a birch near the house so that the building casts a shadow on the tree in the afternoon.

The optimum age for planting is 3 years. Such a seedling is bought and planted in the fall. In this case, the survival rate will be extremely high

Still similar specimens are planted in the spring, at the very beginning, but it is important that an old earthen clod be present. Seven-year-old birches are planted in autumn, spring, and also in winter, while maintaining a clod of earth

It is no longer recommended to touch older trees, because the roots can be damaged, and the survival rate will be extremely low.

Having chosen a landing site, you can proceed directly to the process itself. Dig a small hole, the bottom of which will need to be lined with a layer of drainage. Sand will act as it, the layer thickness is at least 15 centimeters. Then the pit is half filled with a mixture consisting of peat, sand and humus (all taken in 1 part), as well as garden soil (2 parts). The seedling, together with an earthen clod, falls into the hole, sprinkled, watered with settled water. Under no circumstances should the root collar be deepened, since this guarantees the death of the tree in the coming years in 100% of cases

When planting, it is also important to observe the distance: if trees are planted in a group, then there should be at least 4 meters between each seedling

Propagation

River birch is propagated by seed. It is interesting that this is a very prolific tree: self-sowing is plentiful, therefore nothing prevents the black birch from seizing territories on its own. For the first weeks, black birch grows really slowly, even sluggishly.

Moreover, at this time, seedlings are also extremely vulnerable: they are afraid of a lack of ultraviolet light, they do not like abundant watering (as well as scarce), and if they are shaded by weeds, they will also react to this by inhibition of growth and development.

There are several features of seeding.

  1. There is no need to pre-prepare the seeds if it happens in the fall. But in the spring there is a benefit in stratification, since with its help the germination rates are adjusted.
  2. Before sowing, the seeds must be dried. They must acquire the so-called loose state. And as soon as the seeds have dried up, it is necessary to sow. But you should not store wet seeds at home - they will quickly begin to germinate, and so they will die.
  3. Sowing is equally successful both in open ground and in greenhouse conditions. Sowing is usually preferred by a line, making the distance between the lines 20 cm.
  4. Seeds cannot be planted deep into the soil. For a week, crops should be covered with polyethylene, any other covering material.
  5. The soil must be kept moist. It is more convenient to water it with a spray bottle, because crops can easily be washed away with water from an ordinary watering can.
  6. If all conditions are met, seedlings can be expected in 2 weeks. Maybe two and a half. By autumn, young birches will grow up to 30 cm. And the strongest, under good conditions, will have time to grow up to half a meter.
  7. For the winter, young trees should be insulated with fallen leaves, which will not allow them to freeze in the cold.
  8. The next spring, black birch can be swooped into shkolki with an interval of 7 cm, and between rows - 35 cm.
  9. At the end of summer or the beginning of autumn, already grown trees can be transferred to where they will grow constantly. If some birch trees turned out to be underdeveloped, they are sent for growing.

For more information about black birch, see the next video.

Species

There are several types of birch (see photo) used in the national economy.

Hanging

At the age of 8 the tree reaches 30 m, the trunk changes from brown to white. Wood is considered one of the most dense and heavy.

The plant is also called warty birch: there is a lot of resin on the trunk. The young tree has straight branches, in old age they sag down. The shape of the leaves is diamond-shaped. The flowers are brown. The most suitable habitat for a tree is a mountainous or flat area. Life expectancy - up to 120 years.

The plant is used to make charcoal and plywood.

Dwarf

Resembles a branched shrub, grows in Canada, in the north of Russia.

Birch prefers mountainous or swampy terrain. The leaves are small, their upper part is darker than the lower. The bark is brown, the trunk is smooth, with a cork layer.

This downy birch is slow growing and hardy.

In the northern regions, the leaves are used as food for deer. The plant is well suited for landscape design.

Karelian

Grows in Karelia, Lithuania, northwestern regions of Russia. It is characterized by an unusual outgrowth on the trunk - kappa.

This is a subspecies of drooping birch, includes three varieties:

  • stunted,
  • medium height,
  • tall.

Due to its peculiar pattern, wood is used in the manufacture of sculptures and dishes. Karelian birch is a symbol of the north of Russia.

Rare species

Rare species:

  • Dahurian or Korean birch. The maximum height of the tree is 25 m. The leaves are oval, dark green. It needs a lot of light and moisture to grow. Wood is used for making crafts, charcoal.
  • Squat. Unusual fluffy birch, shrub. The maximum height is 2.5 m. It grows in the swampy areas of Western Siberia, in the Far East. The oval leaves have resinous warts. Blooms in May. It is used for the production of medicines, solid fuels.