Genus Betula, L. (Birch)
Leaves - simple; alternate; edge unequally double-toothed, entire at base. Outline - egg-shape, often approaching diamond-shape. Apex - pointed. Base - somewhat pointed, often rather blunt wedge-shaped. Leaf/Stem - short (about one half to three fourths of an inch) and downy. Leaf - about three inches long by two inches wide, or often less; whitish and (until old) downy beneath; dotted; in autumn turning to a bright yellow. Bark - of the trunk reddish-brown. As the tree grows the bark becomes torn and loose, hanging in thin shreds of varying shades. The young twigs are downy. Found - on low grounds, especially along river banks, from Massachusetts westward and southward. It becomes common only in the lower part of New Jersey. Its finest growth is in the South. It is the only birch which grows in a warm climate. General Information - A tree usually thirty to fifty feet high, with the branches long and slender, arched and heavily drooping. Often the branches cover the trunk nearly to the ground. "Birch brooms" are made from the twigs.
Newhall, Charles S. The Trees of North-Eastern America (New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1900) 61
Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman