The Yellow Birch

Image: Maine Tree Club


Scientific name: The scientific  name of the Yellow Birch is betula alleghaniensis michaux.

Height: The Yellow Birch grows to about 60-75 feet or 100 feet tall. It is one of the largest birches in Maine.

Soil: The Yellow Birch likes rich, moist, and cool soils. It will take clay soils too. Also it likes well drained soils.

Bark: The bark is a silvery gray or a yellowish brown. When the bark gets older it turns a black or a dull gray.

Leaves: The leaves are hairy. The upper side of the leaf is dark green. The under side is a yellowish green. The leaves of the Yellow Birch are 3-4 1/2 long. In the fall the leaves turn a bright color.

Flower: The male and female catkins are borne apart on the same branch.

Fruit: The fruit is very short, about 1-1 1/2 long.

Seeds: The seeds are light brown and hairy. They mature in July and stay there for a few months.

Wood: Wood is used for furniture, cabinetry, flooring and doors. And the wood is made into toys.

Interesting Facts: The Yellow Birche's sap could be harvested in the early spring before the leaves unfold by just touching the trunk. It has a sweet flavor. Also the Yellow Birch is found growing on the north facing slopes. The Yellow Birch is one of the most common and the most important tree for lumber. This hardwood holds paints and stains well. The bark can be used to make "oil of wintergreen" which is used to flavor medicine. Those are some facts about the Yellow Birch.

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