Genus Betula, L. (Birch)

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Leaves - simple; alternate (often alternate in pairs); edge unequally sharp-toothed, with the base entire. Outline - triangular. Apex - taper-pointed. Base - variable, more or less squared, sometimes slightly hollowed, rounded or pointed. Leaf/Stem - long and slender, about three quarters of an inch or more in length. Leaf - one and three quarters to three inches long. Smooth and shining on both sides. Bark - The outer bark of the mature trunk is chalky-white and thin, but not, like the bark of the Paper-birch, easily separable into layers. Usually it is marked with blackish dots and lines. Often the branchlets and twigs are blackish, and in very young trees the bark may be light reddish-brown, and marked with white dots. Found - on poor soil, from Delaware and Pennsylvania northward (mostly toward the coast), and in ornamental cultivation. It springs up abundantly over burned and abandoned lands. General Information - A slender, short-lived tree, twenty to thirty feet high, with white, soft wood, not durable; used largely in making spools, shoe pegs, etc., and for fuel. A still more graceful cultivated species is the European Weeping Birch (B. pendula). Its branches are very drooping, with more slender leaves, and a spray that is exceedingly light and delicate, especially in early spring.


Trees: T-Z


Newhall, Charles S. The Trees of North-Eastern America (New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1900) 57


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