Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Broadleaf deciduous tree, to 60-80 ft (18-25 m) tall, crown irregularly rounded, branches wide spreading with drooping tips. Bark thin reddish-brown when young, becoming yellow with thin papery shreds, not easily peeled, with age separating into ragged-edged plates. Leaves simple, alternate, ovate to oblong-ovate, 8-11 cm long, tip slender, sharp pointed, base rounded, margin double toothed, 9-11 pairs of veins each vein ending in a tooth, deep yellowish-green above, lighter below. Male (pollen) catkins 2 cm wide and 2-3 mm wide by fall, about 8 cm long at pollination. Female cone (seed cone) about 3 cm long, erect on spur shoots; ripen in early fall.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Native from Newfoundland to Manitoba, south to the highest peaks of Tennessee and Georgia. The Provincial Tree of Quebec.
Closely related to and resembles B. lenta, Sweet Birch or Black Birch, some contrasting features are given below (Farrar, 1995). I don't know how accurate or useful they are; any comments?:
Characteristic B. alleghaniensis Yellow Birch B. lenta Sweet Birch Height frequently over 65 ft (20 m) seldom reaching 65ft (20 m) Buds mostly hairy, pressed against twig mostly hairless, diverging from twig Cone scales 5-7 mm long, hairy 6-12 mm long, hairless Leaves and young twigs
moderate wintergreen flavor strong wintergreen flavor Bark reddish brown, becoming dull yellow dark cherry red to blackish, then grayish
- Oregon State Univ., North Willamette Research and Extension Center, Aurora.
- Salem, Oregon: North side of Bush Pasture Park