Yellow Birch – ID Sheet

Common Name: Yellow Birch

Scientific Name: Betula alleghaniensis

Other Names:

Identification:

  • Bark is bronze or yellowish gray
  • Bark peels horizontally in think curly paper strips
  • Leaves are elliptical 2.5 inches wide
    • Leaves have fine double toothed edges
    • Alternate Arrangement
  • Flowers in late May
  • 50 to 100 feet tall

Habitat:

  • Has a wide shade and soil tolerance
  • Usually found in moist woodlands
  • Mixed stand species

Uses:

Yellow Birch “wood is heavy, strong, close- grained, and even-textured. This tree is used for furniture, flooring, cabinetry, charcoal, pulp, interior finish, veneer, tool handles, boxes, wooden-ware, and interior doors. The wood can be stained and takes a high polish. Yellow Birch chips can be used to produce ethanol and other products. The species reportedly was favored by colonial shipbuilders, because its wood was resistant to rot below the waterline.”

Yellow Birch also has edible uses. The sap can be used for syrup. The twigs and leaves have a wintergreen type flavor. These can be used for teas or condiments.

Observation Notes:

  • December 2020-Northern Vermont- Noticed several Yellow Birch for the first time on one of my daily walking routes. The thin bark curls and bronze color grabbed my attention as I came off the hill and crossed into the road. I have walked that path a thousand times in my life and had not noticed the tree before.

Resources:

Yellow Birch: Photo Credit-https://wildadirondacks.org/
Yellow Birch: Photo Credit-https://wildadirondacks.org/

2 thoughts on “Yellow Birch – ID Sheet

Add yours

    1. I did some research and they say you can use any type of birch, but yellow birch is higher in antioxidants. That could be a good expirment to find what type of sap taste the best.

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