birch is confined to cool, high mountain slopes, generally at
elevations above 3,000 feet. It grows at slightly higher elevations
than black birch, from which Yellow birch usually can be distinguished
by its bark.
birch is named for its bark, which has a yellowish-bronze color
and peels into long, ragged, horizontal strips. The bark of
mature trees breaks up into reddish-brown plates.
are 3 to 5 inches long, pointed, sharply toothed and are a roughly
oblong-oval shape. The fruit is an oval, erect strobile 1 to
1 1/2 inches long and about 3/4 inch thick.
twigs are light brown and shiny, They are slightly aromatic,
but less so than those of the black birch. The pungent smell
of wintergreen associated with crushed twigs is a simple way
to identify both yellow and sweet birch. Yellow birch averages
60 to 80 feet in height and, on better sites, may grow to 100
feet tall and I to 3 feet in diameter.
light brown wood is heavy, strong, hard and close-grained. It
is used for flooring, woodenware, furniture and veneers and
is considered superior to the black birch. The tree furnishes
browse for deer, and its buds and catkins (scaly, bracted spikes
of usually unisexual flowers) are food for grouse and other