Betula alleghaniensis (Yellow Birch) - Qt Super Plugs


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Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis) is a large, long-lived tree of the cool Northern Hardwood Forest.  Yellow birch ranges from Maritime Canada to Georgia in the Appalachians, west to Iowa and Minnesota.  It is particularly abundant around the Great Lakes and in the Appalachian Mountains. Capable of reaching heights of 70 feet or more, it is the largest of our native birches, as well as the longest-lived.  Yellow Birch is an attractive tree with its shaggy, shiny yellow to bronze bark, its spreading habit, and its brilliant gold Autumn foliage.  Yellow birch is found in the secondary stages of forest reclamation, typically sprouting under the light shade of Pin cherries and Paper birch.


Yellow birch is the most important birch in North America commercially- It is the primary birch used for lumber, being popular in furniture and flooring.  Yellow birch is an excellent fuel wood species - Its wood is dense and close-grained.  It was particularly valued by early settlers as stovewood, as it burns hot and evenly.  It is used to some extent in landscaping, though does not seem to be as popular as the white-barked species.

Growing Information

Whereas Paper birch is used in landscapes almost to the point of ubiquity, Yellow birch is seldom utilized.  It is an excellent landscape tree for the North and for cooler areas, growing relatively quickly and handling open conditions as well as shade.  Though not as succeptible to Birch Borer as Paper birch, Yellow birch can be subject to attack in poor conditions.  However, it has a much more southerly range than Paper birch, and can be found in cool microclimates almost anywhere in the eastern 1/4 of the United States.  Yellow birch does best on well-drained, sandy loams that stay moist throughout the growing season - In dryer soils, it requires supplemental watering during drought periods.  We have grown it for a number of years here at the Nursery, and we have been surprised at how vigorous a grower it is.  We certainly reccomend it for landscapes from USDA Zones 3 through 6.  

Our Yellow birch seed source is in Pennsylvania - Seeds are started in February to Early March in Rootmaker® propagation trays, and finished off in half-gallon Root Pouch Containers.

Common Name: Yellow Birch
Botanical Name: Betula alleghaniensis