Yellow Birch, Betula alleghaniensis
Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis, synomym B. lutea), is a species of birch native to eastern North America, from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and southern Quebec west to Minnesota, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia. It is the Provincial tree of Quebec and the name reflects the color of the tree’s bark.
This medium-sized deciduous tree reaches 20 m tall (exceptionally to 30 m) with a trunk up to 80 cm diameter. The bark is smooth, yellow-bronze, flaking in fine horizontal strips, and often with small black marks and scars. The twigs, when scraped, have a slight scent of oil of wintergreen, though not as strongly so as the related Sweet Birch. The leaves are alternate, ovate, 6-12 cm long and 4-9 cm broad, with a finely serrated margin. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins 3-6 cm long, the male catkins pendulous, the female catkins erect. The fruit, mature in fall, is composed of numerous tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts.