Did You About These Birch Tree Species In The Birch Family?

Birch tree varieties
Whether you want to decorate or revamp your backyard, choosing the right type of plant is important. Ever considered birch trees? When someone mentions about birch trees, all we can remember is gray and white barks flaking off.
But did you know that birch trees are amazing showstoppers, famous for being elegant and slender appearance. In fact, most gardeners admire the evergreen birch trees species. You will certainly remain delighted all seasons, if you have any birch tree varieties in your garden.
During the spring seasons, you can see its green leaflets bright open with pinacle. While in summer season they provide dappled shade and pleasantly coloured foliage in autumn season.

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To top it all, you can witness their enchantment in winter season with elegantly revealed barks. If you are looking to enhance your garden with birch trees, you must first know about different trees in the birch family.
Keep reading to know more about the birch trees that can make your backyard more appealing.

Historical Significance of Different Types Of Birch Trees

In the Celtic mythology, birch tree is popular as the “Lady of the Woods”. Baiscally, the tree is related to the feminine energies like nurturance and fertility. In other folklores such roman, norse and anglo-saxon, birch trees are related with the goddess of fertility. If you wish to What Kingdom is a birch tree in? Birch trees belong to the kingdom, Plantae and family Betulaceae.

What Is The Genus and Species For Birch?

Birch trees are a part of the genus ‘Betula’. When it comes to birch tree classification, they belong to the plant family of ‘Betulaceae’.
Typically, birch tree species consists of shrubs and trees that come in small to medium sizes. They are located mainly in the temperate zones found in the Northern Hemisphere.
Some trees in birch family like to grow in clusters covered with shrubs. While others grow with several trunks and some with a classic one trunk.

What Is Another Name For A Birch Tree?

These deciduous hardwood tree with thin leaves belongs to the family of Betulaceae. The scientific name for birch tree is, Betula. It has a close resembelance with the beech-oak that belongs to the family of Fagaceae.
The beautiful features of birches like fascinating leaves and barks is what makes them the best pick for landscaping. These grow well in moist soils, since birches loves water. This is a great benefit of having quick growing birch tree varieties in your garden.
Are you curious how many types of birch trees are there? Here check out the different kinds of birch trees to choose the best one for your backyard.

Birch Tree Species And Classification

1. River birch

Commonly famous as Betula Nigra, River birch is a magnificient and quick-growing tree for landscaping. In some parts, it is also popular as water birch, red birch or black birch. It may grow upto a height of 40 – 70 ft, with a single or multiple cluster trunk.
In the fall season you can witness its dark green foliage turning into appealing yellow. It might be your best pick, if you live in areas with extreme summer. As it is the only type of birch trees which can actually tolerate heat. It can shows aversion towards bronze birch borer.
Related: When to Plant River Birch Trees


2. European birch

Most commonly known as the Betula Pendula, this is one of the well-known weeping birch tree varieties. It is a traditional variety that grows to a height of 30 to 60 ft. and spread about 10 to 20 m. wide.
The trunk has beautifully drooping branches and a white bark with black grooves. In summers, you can see its lovely green leaves which turn canary yellow in autumn season. It grows well in moist and drained soil along with full sun exposure.

3. Bog birch

This lovely birch tree species is also popular as Betula pumila. It can stand occasional road salt, clay soil alkaline soil and random flooding. However, it loves to grow in full sunlight and around water bodies.
When it comes to residential areas with rain gardens bog birches are a good choice. You may also know it by some common names like dwarf birch, resin birch, and swamp birch.

4. Chinese birch

These types of birch trees are known for their striking yellow green leaves with matte texture. Some people also know it as Betula Albosinensis popular for its lovely slender papery bark which is red-brown in colour.
This bark stripped off itself into many paper-thin layers of straight white strips. It can grow well even in drought prone areas.
Also, this birch tree varieties can grow up to 50 feet tall and spread 30 feet wide.

5. Paper birch

With an elegant white bark and yellow autum color this is one of the beautiful trees in the birch family. It is native to Canada and Northern US. Also known as white birch or canoe birch, this birch can grow about 45 – 100 ft.
This birch is tolerant to bronze birch borer. You can either see this tree with single trunk or with clumping multi-trunks. It has a slim white bark that often peels off in various papery layers. This variety is very useful for wildlife as it offers stable food supply like catkins.

6. Black birch

This is one of the most appealing birch tree species due to being highly useful. It not only provides shade but also dark wood just like mahogany lumber. People also know it for supplying wintergreen oil.
With a single trunk and green leaves in ovate lime shade it’s an appealing tree for landscaping. It grows about 40 feet wide and 70 feet high. Also, it’s a great attraction fo wildlife because of it’s sweet autumn berries.

7. Silver birch

These types of birch trees are also known as Betula pendula and grows in a pyramidal to rounded shape as it matures. It loves to grow in cooler regions and can reach to a height of 40 to 80 feet. This graceful birch has a white bark with dark gray spots and grows in a single trunk.
It can’t resist heat and bronze birch borer. That’s the only reason why this birch tree species is not a very popular option for landscaping.

8. Yellow birch

In various regions it is known with different names like hard birch or gold birch. It has a peeling bark with beautiful copper color. It serves a beautiful sight on residential landscaping, particularly in autumn season.
With a lovley yellow-bronze bark this birch has a single trunk. For the lumber industries in North America this is on of the very important birch tree varieties. With a spectacular height of about 80 ft. (27 m), this tree is one of the the tallest birches.

9. Japanese birch

This is one of the popular weeping trees in the birch family. With a medium height this tree can reach up to 50 ft. (17 m.). It is a native to Japan and Korea and can thrive in well-moist loam soil.
Japanese birch loves sun and grows a white bark with thin clustering branches which further grow into several branchlets.

10. Gray birch

These birch trees are highly similar to the paper birch. It is usually multiple stemmed and has a white-gray bark that doesn’t peel off. Most of these prefers well-drained soil but some can also thrive in sandy and dry soils.
However, this species normally grows with multiple trunks and its bark is whitish-gray and doesn’t peel. They have multiple trunks with lush green, airy and ovate leaves. Read on to find out more about the trees in the birch family.

11. Himalayan birch

These types of birch trees are native to Nepal and west Himalayan regions. This beautiful ornamental birch has white barks with paper-like texture. From a single trunk, this birch can turn into a medium size tree. In the spring season it bears beautiful green or yellow flowers with serrated ovate leaves.
These birches can reach up to a height between 30 to 50 ft. It thrives well in full shade but can still sustain some shade. When it is planted in warmer zones, they are open to bronze birch borer and needs regular removal.

12. Dwarf birch

Typically popular as betula nana, these kinds of birch trees are native to cool temperate and arctic areas, like tundra landscapes. It enjoys growing in well-moist soils with acidic, rock and nutrients-less soil. These trees can reach to a height between 6 inches and 3 ft.

13. Ermans birch

Being a distinct tree in birch family this tree has a magnificient bark in copper brown tone. It peels off in several layers of cream and tan. When it matures it grows conical in shape and bears heart shaped thick foliage. Ermans birch are also known as betula ermanii and can get about 70 feet tall.

14. Water birch

Being famous as betula fontinalis or betula occidentalis, these types of birch trees finely grow in steambanks. You can particularly find these in thick clumps in mountain regions. People can easily identify them due to their attractive bark in cocoa brown tone. The bark is covered with white dents and it doesn’t peel off.

15. Weeping birch

With branches drooping downwards this is a highly decorative tree in the birch tree classification. People enjoy its yellow color leaves, heart-shaped and thick foliage during the autumn season.
It’s branches and trunks has varied attractive shades from, white, dark to black tone. Being mighty in structure, this birch can reach a height of 40 to 70 feet.

How Long Do Trees In The Birch Family Live?

Now there is no doubt that a healthy birch tree can make your home landscape much more pleasant. If we talk about birch lifespan, so on an average a healthy birch can survive for 40 to 50 years.
However, there are some exceptions as well. For example, the popular white birch trees can die even before living 20 years of life. But if you keep them under optimal conditions, you enjoy the sight of birch trees in your garden even for 100 years.
For example, yellow birch tree varieties can live to be 300 years. Keep reading to find out how many types of birch trees are there and some unique facts about them.

Birch Tree Family Allergies

Birch tree species are usually pollinated through wind. You can determine the pollen level based on certain factors like variety of local flora, weather and patterned pollination of specific groups. If you get allergic due to birch trees look for the following symptoms: runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and throat, watery eyes, wheezing and nasal congestion.

Birch Tree Identification – How To Identify Them?

You can easily identify the trees in the birch family by checking their peeled off bark. It can be seen in common colors like gray, yellow or white. You can also look for a light toned bark and find out diamond shaped spots. As for the leaves you can look out for triangular and spiked edge leaves.

Birch Benefits and Uses

Now that you have the answer for how many types of birch trees are there, you must be aware about their uses as well.
Based on the birch tree classification each variety has different benefits and uses. Typically, it’s buds, barks and leaves are conveniently used to make medicines. Some people use birch to treat diseases related to infected urinary tract, including kidney stones, joint pain, UTI’s, kidney stone and more. While there are also other benefits of using birches like curing arthritis, hairfall, skin rashes, etc.


1. What is the prettiest birch tree?

Ans.With beautiful combination of cinnamon brown and coppery , chinese red birch is very pretty. If you are aware about the different types of birch trees, you must know to take care of your birch right.

2. What is the most common birch tree?

Ans.Depeding on the area where different birch tree species are grown, there are various categories. However, the most liked by the gardeners is the European White Birch.

3. What is the smallest birch tree varieties?

Ans.The beautiful betula nana commonly known as the dwarf birches are the smallest kinds of birch trees.

4. Is birch the same as silver birch?

Ans.A birch is  typically a hardwood deciduous tree with paper-thin leaves that belongs to the genus betula. While silver birch has a medium size with leaves in triangle shape.

5. What is the difference between birch and poplar?

Ans.There are various differences between the birch and poplar trees based on features like bark color, height, growing areas, leaf shape/size/color and flowers.
The most common difference is that birch is highly durable than poplar. This is the reason it is often demanded to make antique furnitures.

6. Where do birch trees grow?

Ans.Trees in the birch family can be usually found in regions of higher altitudes like montane forests.

7. Which birch has the whitest bark?

Ans.The handsome himlayan birch (also known as betula utilis) is popular to have the whitest bark in the birch tree family.