Betula alleghaniensis

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Betula alleghaniensis
Betula alleghaniensis.jpg
Yellow Birch foliage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperms
Class: Eudicots, Magnoliophyta, >Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Betulenta
Species: B. alleghaniensis
Binomial name
Betula alleghaniensis
Betula alleghaniensis range map 1.png
Natural range of Betula alleghaniensis
  • B. lutea Michx.

Betula alleghaniensis (Yellow Birch, also known as Golden Birch), is a species of birch native to eastern North America, from Newfoundland to Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, southern Quebec and Ontario, and the southeast corner of Manitoba in Canada, west to Minnesota, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia.

Yellow Birch bark

It is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 20 meters (66 ft) tall (exceptionally to 30 m) with a trunk up to 80 cm (2.6 ft) diameter. The bark is smooth, yellow-bronze, flaking in fine horizontal strips, and often with small black marks and scars. The twigs, when scraped, have a slight scent of wintergreen oil, though not as strongly so as the related Sweet Birch. The leaves are alternate, ovate, 6–12 cm long (2.4–4.7 in) and 4–9 cm broad (1.6–3.5 in), with a finely serrated margin. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins 3–6 cm long (1.2–2.4 in); the male catkins pendulous, the female catkins erect. The fruit, mature in fall, is composed of numerous tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts.

Betula alleghaniensis is the provincial tree of Quebec, where it is commonly called merisier, a name which in France is used for the wild cherry.

The name "yellow birch" reflects the color of the tree's bark.[1]

The wood of Betula alleghaniensis is extensively used for flooring, cabinetry and toothpicks. Most wood sold as birch in North America is from this tree. Several species of Lepidoptera use the species as a food plant for their caterpillars. See: List of Lepidoptera that feed on birches.


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