Sadly, paper birch trees don’t do well in an urban area where they fight to live while enduring dryness, pollution, and heat. Though they enjoy cool temps, the limbs snap easily on blustery days, significantly when weighted with ice and snow. Regardless of these drawbacks, they’re worth planting for their gorgeous bark that dazzles against a dark setting.


Paper Birch Tree Defined

A paper birch tree (aka canoe birch) is inherent to lakesides and stream banks in the U. S. and Canada. They have one trunk, but garden centers enjoy growing them in clumps of three, calling them clumping birches.

The lowest limb is only a couple of feet from the ground. In autumn, leaves change into a glowing shade of yellow. Planting a these trees means you will continually have something fascinating to see in your yard. 


Facts About Paper Birch Tree Durham Tree Service Care for paper birch trees

A paper birch tree grows as high as 35 wide and 60 feet tall, flourishing as much as two feet annually. The tree’s most prominent feature is its white peeling bark, accented with black and pink streaks. In the springtime, it makes hanging clusters of catkins that are quite appealing when in bloom. 

Many specimens have bright, vivid fall leaves. This tree is also a larval host for caterpillars. They also entice numerous birds such as sparrows, chickadees, sapsuckers, and pine siskins. 

Here are a couple of uses of paper birch in the yard: 

  • Plant them in clusters in borders and damp beds. Their slim canopy allows you to grow other plants under them. 
  • Use birches to shift slowly from woods to open ground. 

Even though the roots are light, they don’t typically appear over the soil’s surface. You can plant a birch as a roadside or lawn tree. 


Caring for Paper Birch Trees 

Paper birch trees uproot easily with minimal shock. Plant them in a spot with damp, well-drained soil and total sunshine. The trees acclimate to many soil types as long as it is cool in the summertime. It favors mild summers and long winters. 

These trees are vulnerable to several insects like the bronze birch borers. If you reside in an area where these pests are an issue, plant a tree type such as snowy. 

You can also aid the tree in fighting birch borers by fertilizing with environmentally friendly mulch every year in the springtime. It’s recommended not to prune a this tree except if necessary since it draws insects, and the tree bleeds an ample amount of sap when cut.



These trees flourish best in a rocky or sandy loam soil that is reasonably moist. It genuinely favors acidic soil but will do well in soil with a small alkaline or neutral pH.

Giant trees that start to exhibit die-back might have no disease at all. These trees might be at the end of their lives. As a paper birch tree approaches its 30th birthday, you can anticipate it to weaken and die.

For more information on paper birch trees, reach out to us at Durham Tree Service. Our tree experts can help you choose the right type for your landscape.

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