Betula populifolia

  • BOTANICAL NAME:  Betula populifolia
  • COMMON NAME:  Gray birch
  • FAMILY:   Betulaceae
  • NATIVITY:  Found in the northern mountains of the United States
  • GROWTH HABIT:  20-40’; Short and sometimes shrubby in habit.  Slender, sometimes multiple, conical stems.
  • HARDINESS:  USDA Zone 3-6 (7)
  • OPTIMUM GROWING CONDITIONS:  Dry, barren areas.  This tree usually grows well in open or disturbed areas, not usually found in Climax forests.
  • SUCCESSIONAL STATUS:  Successional
  • FACULTATIVE STATUS:  Facultative
  • LANDSCAPE VALUE:  Good for naturalizing poor soils; good fall color, and the bark is aesthetically pleasing.
  • FOLIAGE:   Alternate, serrated edges with an elongated apex.  Overall almost triangular in shape.  Yellow fall color.
  • BUDS:  Imbricately scaled, somewhat resinous.
  • BARK:  Chalky white with large horizontal lenticels.  Not peeling like B. nigra.
  • FRUIT:  Only one male catkin on the end of stems.  Female catkins are in pairs.  This is a distinguishable feature between other species.  Fruit is a small nutlet.
  • PESTS:  Leaf miner and cankers.


University of Delaware

University of Delaware Botanic GardensNewark, DE 19716Phone: 302 831-0153