Mountain paper birch

Silhouette - mountain paper birch
  • Latin name: Betula cordifolia Regel
  • French name: Bouleau à feuilles cordées
  • Synonym(s): Mountain white birch , eastern paper birch
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 195222
    19492 (B. papyrifera var. cordifolia (Regel) Fern.)
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf with detail of resin dots - mountain paper birch

Form

  • Tip taper-pointed
  • Base usually heart-shaped
  • Upper surface has numerous tiny resin dots
  • Veins 7–9 per side

Length

  • 6–12 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface dull green

Margin

  • Double-toothed

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - mountain paper birch

Form

  • Ovoid, blunt
  • Scales resinous

Length

  • 4–6 mm

Twigs

  • Winter twig - mountain paper birch

Form

  • Warty resin glands

Colour

  • Yellowish-brown to dark brown
  • Lenticels light grey

Flowers

Form

  • Pollen catkins in clusters of 2–4
  • Seed catkins often pendulous

Length

  • Pollen catkins 2–4 cm, up to 10 cm at pollination
  • Seed catkins 1–2 cm

Width

  • Pollen catkins 3–6 mm in winter

Colour

  • Stigmas pale or transparent

Structure

  • Monoecious

Fruits

  • Fruit scale (left); winged nutlet (right) - mountain paper birch

Form

  • Scales fringed with hairs
  • Middle lobe with parallel sides, rounded tip

Length

  • Mature seed catkins 3.5–5 cm
  • Nutlets 2–3 mm
  • Stigmas may be as long as the nutlet
  • Scales 6–8 mm
  • Middle lobe much longer than the two upright, rounded lateral lobes

Width

  • Nutlets half as wide as long
  • Wings much wider than nutlets

Bark

Form

  • Separates into several thin layers
  • Peels freely, giving the trunk a ragged look

Length

  • Lenticels up to 70 mm, average 19 mm

Colour

  • White or bronze-white
  • Inner surface copper-coloured

Size

Height

  • To 25 m

Diameter

  • To 70 cm

Tree form

  • Silhouette - mountain paper birch

Forest-grown

Crown

  • Broad
  • Principal branches nearly horizontal

Habitat

Site

  • In cooler habitats
  • On upper elevations at the tree line in the southern part of its range
  • On cooler northern aspects and in depressions toward the northern part of its range

Associated species

  • A wide range of tree species in mixed broadleaf and conifer forests

Range

Common in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the Gaspé Peninsula, and northern Quebec; occurs in northwestern Ontario from Sault Ste. Marie westward to Algoma District and western Lake Superior; southward through northern New York state and New England

Photos
  • Mountain paper birch
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