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Paper Birch

    Betulaceae -- Birch family

    L. 0. Safford, John C. Bjorkbom, and John C. Zasada

    Typical paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera),  also called white birch, canoe birch, or silver birch, and  the other five intergrading geographical varieties, western paper  birch (B. papyrifera var. commutata (Regel)  Fern.), mountain paper birch (B. papyrifera var. cordifolia  (Regel) Fern.), Kenai birch (B. papyrifera var. kenaica  (W. H. Evans) Henry), Alaska paper birch (B. papyrifera  var. neoalaskana (Sarg.) Raup), and northwestern  paper birch (B. papyrifera var. subcordata (Rydb.)  Sarg.) are the most widely distributed birches in North America,  mostly in Canada. These medium-sized, fast-growing trees develop  best on well-drained, sandy loams on cool moist sites. They are  commonly found in the mixed hardwood-conifer forests but may form  nearly pure stands where they pioneer areas disturbed by fires or  logging. Paper birch is short-lived and rarely lives more than  140 years. Commercially the lumber is used for veneer, pulpwood,  and many specialty items. The handsome foliage and showy white  bark make the trees attractive for landscaping. They are  important browse plants for animals, and the seeds, buds, and  bark are also eaten by wildlife.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

L. 0. Safford

Source: Silvics of North America

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