Betula alleghaniensis yellow birch Betulaceae BEAL; Bx, pb; Q;

Betula alleghaniensis tree. Trees, insects and diseases of Canada's forests. Natural Rescources Canada. Government Canada. tidcf.nrcan.gc.ca

Betula alleghaniensis tree. Trees, insects and diseases of Canada’s forests. Natural Rescources Canada. Government Canada. tidcf.nrcan.gc.ca (Accessed 10/2017).

Betula alleghaniensis is a tree to 30 m tall, bark shiny, yellow-silvery-gray, peeling in thin, filmy strips, appearing shaggy; old bark dark, rough; crushed twigs slightly aromatic, of wintergreen.

Leaves alternate, (sometimes paired on short twigs) egg-shaped, to 10 cm long, coarsely, tip pointed, base rounded (to slightly lobed), veins below softly hairy, margin sharply toothed. 

Betula alleghaniensis male catkins. © naturalmedicinefacts.info 2015. naturalmedicinefacts.info

Betula alleghaniensis male catkins. © naturalmedicinefacts.info 2015. naturalmedicinefacts.info (Accessed 10/017).

Flowers: monoecious (male and female flowers separate on same tree), tiny, in catkins; male catkins elongate,the individual flowers tiny, between scales,  pollen wind dispersed; female catkins oval, 2-3 cm long flowers between scales; blooms May-June. 

Betula alleghaniensis. fruit, leaves and old male catkins. L. Wallis. Herbarium University of Michigan. michiganfrlora.net

Betula alleghaniensis. unripe fruit, leaves and old male catkins. L. Wallis. Herbarium University of Michigan. michiganfrlora.net (Accessed 10/2017).

Fruit: Female catkins to 3 cm long, hairy to 0.4 cm wide, of circular winged nuts amid scales; ripen Aug.-Sept., wind dispersed; Sept.-Nov. Seeds, buds and catkins eaten by a few birds and small mammals (Martin et al. 1951).

Wetland status: FAC. 

Frequency in New York City: Very infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Moist woods. Soil pH 4-8 (USDA, NRCS 2010). 

Notes: Twigs eaten by deer and rabbits (Martin et al. 1951). Susceptible to Nectria canker (Nectria galligena, Hypocreaceae; Ascomycotina) with red, bead-like fruiting bodies and Armellaria mellea (Basidiomycotina) shoestring root rot, causes decay of roots and base (Burns & Honkala 1990; Agrios 1988).