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Gray Birch
Betula populifolia

Family: Betulaceae (beh-tyoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Betula (BET-yoo-luh) (Info)
Species: populifolia (pop-yoo-lih-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)

Category:

Trees

Height:

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Inconspicuous/none

Bloom Time:

N/A

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Deciduous

Chartreuse/Yellow

Good Fall Color

Other details:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lawrence, Massachusetts

Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Lehighton, Pennsylvania

Spokane, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
0
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Dec 3, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Gray Birch is not quite as ornamental as other white-barked birch species, but it is still a pretty plant. It grows in an irregular fashion or habit. It is fast growing, about 2 to 2.5 ft/yr. It is relatively short-lived for a tree, about 30 to 50 years. It does not get Bronze Birch Borer because it can tolerate heat over 85 degrees F. A lot of Gray Birch have been planted in southeast Pennsylvania; more than Paper Birch. It is definielty good for USDA Zone 6b in southeast PA and seems fine in Zone 7a in Delaware. When it gets old, the bark on the lower trunk does get grayish.

Positive

On May 22, 2005, ellyssian from Lehighton, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This small tree is often confused with the paper birch (both of which are often called 'white birch'). The bark is white, but does not peel. Older trees apparently do show grey patches.

I found some beautiful specimens along a local river, on a hillside, where it was identified for me. I've heard that it likes to live on mountain sides and rocky areas. I have several saplings on my property that I hope to encourage.