About the birch tree
Paper birch (white birch, canoe birch) - Betula papyrifera
Identification: Birches are easily identified by their white, curling, papery bark. In spring, birches produce long, caterpillar-like flowers called catkins that are pollinated by the wind. Birch leaves are oval and come to a tip, turning yellow in autumn. The leaves have toothed edges and grow in an alternating pattern on the stem.
Height: 50-70 feet
Preferences: Full sun or partial shade. Hardiness zones 2-7.
Wildlife value: Paper birch is a good food source for wildlife. Many small mammals and birds like ruffed grouse feed on catkins in spring. Birch is an important food source for moose in the winter; they browse on leaves, soft shoots and branches. Snowshoe hares eat seedlings and saplings, and inner bark is a favorite of porcupines.
Uses: Birch wood is used for flooring, furniture and popsicle sticks.
Birch bark is traditionally used by indigenous communities to make baskets, canoes, baby carriers and other types of containers.