New Hampshire State Tree - Paper Birch - Betula papyrifera

Paper Birch Betulaceae Betula papyrifera

Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, ovate in shape, with coarsely doubly serrate margins, an acute tip and rounded base.

Flower: Preformed aments, male near the end of the twig in 2's or 3's, 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches long. Female flowers are upright, 1 to 1 1/4 inches long. Flowers April to June.

Fruit: Cone like, cylindrical 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, deciduous at maturity, releasing elliptical 2-winged nutlets. Matures in the autumn, disperses over winter.

Twig: Slender, dull red-brown, lacking wintergreen smell when cut. Terminal bud absent, lateral buds are gummy, chestnut brown in color. Spur shoots present on older growth.

Bark: Smooth, thin, chalky-to-creamy white; peeling in horizontal papery strips. Brown to black and furrowed at base. Orange inner bark.

Form: A medium-sized tree with a pyramidal or irregular crown.

Copyright 2003, Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved.
Photos courtesy: Michael Aust, John Baitey, Ctaude L. Brown, Bruce Bongarten,
Susan D. Day, Edward C. Jensen, Richard E. Kreh, Larry H. McCormick, Alex X.
Niemiera, John A. Peterson, Oana Popescu, John R. Seiter, David W. Smith, Kim
C. Steiner, James E. Ward, Rodney E. Will, Shepard M. Zedaker.
Text written by: John R. Seiter, Edward C. Jensen, Or John A. Peterson