collected birch..but which kind?

tanlu

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I found this birch by a stream in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York last weekend. I was attracted to it's white/silvery flaky bark, which I read takes a while to develop. The weather was rainy and cool for several days during and after collection which I believe relieved some of the tree's stress. It's my first collected tree, and I hope I've taken all the appropriate measures to ensure the tree's health. The tree's shallow root system facilitated easy collecting. It's potted in turface-like baked clay granules (moltan) with most of the old mountain soil only around the very center of the root ball. I use the same stuff for my pines and they all love it. The root system is fibrous and intact, with the exception of me cutting several long thick roots that made potting it difficult. It looks healthy and the leaves are already expanding since collection. The trunk is 2" thick and the tree is about 4.5' tall.

Can anyone can identify which kind of birch it is?

Let me know your thoughts on the direction of the tree.

T
 

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tanlu

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What is the scientific name for it? From what I've read "silver birch" is a common name used for many kinds of birch.
 

Speedy

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I would say River Birch, Betula nigra, I would like to find one.
 

Beng

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Are there collecting permits available in the Catskills? Was looking at the elevation maps and it looks like a good place to collect.
 
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Looking at the large branch above the trunk leads me to go with Red Birch, also known as Black Birch, Cherry Birch and Sweet Birch. Betula lenta.

Get a book or go on line and read the descriptions of the bark on mature and not so mature birch species and I think you can narrow it down.

Attached is a Red Birch that I harvested in the mountains of Virginia two years ago. That is a standard 8" diagonal cutter leaning against the trunk. I watched this tree for about 6 years on a mountain top before I was able to get it. Now trying to grow out fine branching close to trunk.
 

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brewmeister83

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I would normally agree with Mac in Oak on the color of the new growth, except the peeling/silvery mature bark with the slight bronzy/golden hues are a dead giveaway for Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis) With Birch you have to go my mature bark color, since all new growth on birches look so similar (I've seen grey, river, and yellow birch within 50 yds. of each other where the branches looked the same, but I could tell the difference because of the mature bark on the trunks.)

If you're going to be collecting any more trees east of the Rockies... might I suggest two pocket guides - "Tree Finder" and "Winter Tree Finder" by May + Tom Watts. With these little books one can figure out what tree they're looking at (native or introduced - they cover both) any time of the year.
 
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coppice

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Grey birch, paper birch is whiter with sharper chevrons on the paper formed bark.

Well, thats my story and I'm sticking' to it.
 

brewmeister83

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Grey birch, paper birch is whiter with sharper chevrons on the paper formed bark.

Well, thats my story and I'm sticking' to it.

Mature grey birch (Betula populifolia) has white bark - just like the white birches. The only difference is they they named it after they named European white birch (Betula alba) and American White/Paper Birch (Betula papyrifere).

There's a lot of confusion when it comes to identifying birches because it seems everyone and their brother has a different common name for them. e.g. - tanlu said "silver birch" because that species of birch is commonly referred to that name in the area where they live - and, as a matter of fact, I used to call it that too - but then I learned that there is no "silver birch" and it's actual name was yellow birch (why I don't know, because as a six year old when I first saw it it looked more silver than yellow to me)

I quickly realized that it was easier (at least with birches) to just go by scientific name, which was connected to diagnostic descriptions - mature bark that is peeling + shiny/silvery + golden/bronzy hues = Betula alleghaniensis (aka yellow birch, silver birch, or whatever you can think of...)
 

crust

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I know where all my birch bonzos are---in the carcass pile turning to ooze.
 

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