The white birch tree is a popular landscape tree. It is known for its beautiful leaves, distinctive paper-like barks, and cool shade it offers. Moreover, one does not need to take extensive care of these trees
The tree is known for its beautiful white bark, and is used by the Native Americans for a multitude of purposes. The common names for the tree are Canoe Birch, Silver Birch, and Paper Birch. It's scientific name is Betula papyrifera. It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree. It can grow up to a height of 70 to 80 feet, and lives only for about 140 years. It has small ear-shaped leaves at the ends of drooping branches and twigs. Catkins are the male and female flowers of this tree. These catkins develop into nutlets that ripen in early August to mid September. They have wings so that they are easily carried away by air to far off places to germinate into trees.
The tree does not grow well in shade. In fact, it is the first tree that will grow in an area that has been destroyed by fire or trees are cut off. The bark is a favorite food of porcupines and the seedlings are eaten by rabbits. The yellow-bellied sapsuckers peck little wells in the bark to eat the sap. Squirrels and hummingbirds in turn feed on the sap off the wells made by sapsuckers.
The tree is found in areas of Newfoundland, Labrador, Canada, New England, and North Carolina in the America. It grows well in areas with a cold climate. It is used as fire starter as it can burn even when the wood is wet. It is also used to make baskets, mats, and moose calls by Native Americans. Today, it is not only an ornamental plant but also used as a building lumber for making pulpwood, plywood, and veneer. The sap is used to make syrups, wine, beer, and medical tonics.
There are many types of birch trees that you can grow in your garden. The paper birch is a native Northern American tree that can grow in cold, moist, and other soil conditions. The paper white birch cannot tolerate too much heat and pollution. You need to grow the tree in an area receiving full sunlight. It can be grown in alkaline soil too. As the tree requires plenty of water, you should plant in areas where the soil is moist. You should place the mulch around the tree as it will help keep the soil moist. It should be kept at a depth of 2 to 4 inches in a ring of 6 foot radius on mature tree and 3 inches in case of saplings. You should avoid short watering sessions, and instead provide the tree a long watering session weekly.
It can grow in any variety of soil, and needs proper sunlight for growth. If you take proper care then this beautiful tree is sure to increase the ornamental value of your garden.