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Betula alleghaniensis (Yellow Birch)

Yellow Birch, Gray Birch, Swamp Birch, Silver Birch, Betula alleghaniensis var. fallax, Betula lutea

Betula alleghaniensis, Yellow Birch, Gray Birch, Swamp Birch, Silver Birch,, Betula lutea, Tree with fall color, Fall color, Attractive bark Tree
Betula alleghaniensis, Yellow Birch, Gray Birch, Swamp Birch, Silver Birch,, Betula lutea, Tree with fall color, Fall color, Attractive bark Tree

One of the most valuable birches, Betula alleghaniensis (Yellow Birch) is a slender deciduous tree of conical habit in youth, becoming rounded with age. Its branches are covered with ovate, dark green leaves, 3-5 in. long (7-12 cm). The foliage turns brilliant golden yellow in fall. Tiny, inconspicuous flowers appear in spring before the leaves unfurl. They are held in hanging catkins (male flowers) or in upright catkins (female flowers). They provide pollen for bees and other insect pollinators. Yellow Birch gives off a heady aroma of wintergreen when leaves, shoots, or bark are crushed. The bark is a polished brown or bronze, with thin, papery, shaggy shreds on young trees, becoming gray-brown and breaking into large, ragged-edged plates with age. Yellow Birch is a wonderful plant for wildlife. It attracts caterpillars and provides food for migrating birds in spring and fall. Attractive in all seasons, this superb eastern North American native is an excellent specimen tree and useful for lawns and naturalized areas. Trees planted in a grove fashion form a beautiful, natural effect. Slow-growing and long-lived (approximately 150 years), Yellow Birch performs best in cooler climates.

  • Grows up to 60-80 ft. tall and wide (18-24 m).
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soils. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, including wet soils.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant, in cottage gardens, or wildlife gardens.
  • Low maintenance, this plant needs little pruning. If pruning is necessary, prune during the dormant season (when the sap has stopped flowing) from late summer to before mid-winter.
  • Yellow Birch shows some resistance to bronze birch borer, a severe problem for many white-barked species. Keep an eye out for birch leafminer, aphids, honey fungus, mildew, and birch rust.
  • Propagate by root softwood cuttings in summer, or propagate by grafting in winter.
  • Native to northeastern North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 7
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Betulaceae
Genus Betula
Common names Birch, Gray Birch, Silver Birch, Yellow Birch
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 60' - 80'
(18.3m - 24.4m)
Spread 60' - 80'
(18.3m - 24.4m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Midwest, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Northeast, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Southeast, Tennessee, United States, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Bees, Birds
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Betula populifolia (Gray Birch)
Betula nana (Dwarf Birch)
Betula pumila (Bog Birch)
Betula lenta (Sweet Birch)
Betula platyphylla (Japanese White Birch)
Betula utilis (Himalayan Birch)

Recommended Companion Plants

Betula lenta (Sweet Birch)
Ostrya virginiana (American Hop Hornbeam)
Carpinus caroliniana (American Hornbeam)
Corylus cornuta (Beaked Hazelnut)
Hamamelis virginiana (Virginian Witch Hazel)
Sorbus americana (American Mountain Ash)
Sambucus canadensis (American Elder)
Viburnum acerifolium (Mapleleaf Viburnum)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Betula (Birch) – What Is Wrong With My Tree?
Betula (Birch) – Pests and Diseases to Watch Out For
Alternatives to Birch Trees Prone to Borer Attacks
Betula (Birch)
Create a Garden with Great Winter Interest
Which Birch Tree to Choose for my Garden?
Underplanting Birches
Shrubs and Trees with Attractive Winter Bark
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 7
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Betulaceae
Genus Betula
Common names Birch, Gray Birch, Silver Birch, Yellow Birch
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 60' - 80'
(18.3m - 24.4m)
Spread 60' - 80'
(18.3m - 24.4m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Midwest, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Northeast, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Southeast, Tennessee, United States, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Bees, Birds
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Betula (Birch)
Guides with
Betula (Birch)
Not sure which Betula (Birch) to pick?
Compare Now

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