Betula papyrifera
Common name: 
Paperbark Birch
Paper Birch
BET-u-la pap-i-RIF-er-a
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous tree, 40-50(70+) ft [12-15(21) m], loosely pyramidal to rounded, several years before lateral branches show chalky-white paper-like bark, peels easily.  Leaves simple, alternate, 5-12 cm long, rounded or sometimes wedge shaped, glabrous above and pubescent on veins below, coarsely and usually doubly serrate, dull green in summer, yellow in fall.
  • Sun.  Adapted to a variety of soils, does best in well-drained, acid, moist, sandy or silty loams.  Probably best adapted to cold climates.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 2    Large native range from Labrador to British Columbia, Washington (and into the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon), south to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nebraska, Montana.
  • papyrifera: paper-bearing
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: two places on lower campus just south of the "Elm Walkway" between 15th St.and 11th St., a group trees on the east side of 15th St. (north of Ferman Hall) and single tree near the 11th St. gate.
Click image to enlarge
  • catkins, spring

    catkins, spring

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • foliage


  • shoot, leaves

    shoot, leaves

  • shoot, comparison

    shoot, comparison

  • leaf and margin

    leaf and margin

  • leaves, comparison

    leaves, comparison

  • catkins, late summer

    catkins, late summer

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • plant habit, late fall

    plant habit, late fall

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • peeled bark

    peeled bark

  • older trunks, bark

    older trunks, bark

  • winter twigs and buds

    winter twigs and buds