Paper Birch

(Betula papyrifera)

Year-round beauty
Considered by many to be one of the most attractive native forest trees in North America, the paper birch can be an eye-catching ornamental tree often associated with the unspoiled wilderness. A popular landscape tree, its fall color and white bark in winter make an unbeatable combination. 

Paper birch is a transcontinental species and grows in a wide variety of conditions, from full sun to moderate shade, and from dry soils to moist

Paper birch grows to about 40 feet in height, but in ideal conditions it can reach 75 feet or more. The bark peels back readily, revealing a reddish-orange inner bark. Its deciduous egg-shaped leaves are dark green and lightly toothed, becoming golden in the fall.

You’ll often find conifer seedlings and saplings under mature paper birch stands, along with shrubs including American green alder, beaked hazel, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

The paper birch tree grows best in a cool, moist site and is a fast-growing tree, but generally short-lived, rarely living beyond 80 years.

Commercially its lumber is used for veneer, pulpwood and many specialty items. Paper birch develops best on well-drained sites and will not tolerant harsh conditions, heat or waterlogging, and is susceptible to insects and diseases in warmer climates. 


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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