Sweet Birch, Black Birch, Cherry Birch

Betula lenta

Family: Betulaceae (beh-tyoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Betula (BET-yoo-luh) (Info)
Species: lenta (LEN-tuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


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



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring



Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Moscow, Idaho

Payette, Idaho

Batavia, Illinois

Champaign, Illinois

Burlington, Kentucky

Clermont, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Batavia, New York

Asheville, North Carolina

Youngstown, Ohio

Altoona, Pennsylvania

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Lehighton, Pennsylvania

Quarryville, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Spokane, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 30, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Sweet Birch, also called Cherry or Black Birch, grows native in the cool, mature woods, often near Eastern Hemlock, of southeast Pennsylvania and the rest of the Appalachian Region where the soil is acid of about pH 5 to 6.5, in various spots. It tolerates a medium amount of shade. I first saw one on a hike with Dr Mike Dirr next to the grounds of the Univeristy of ILL in Urbana in 1975, planted in a cemetery in full sun, doing well in neutral pH soil, about pH 6.8 to 7. I saw a few in Batavia, IL, west of Chicago, growing alright, planted in a park district in full sun and neutral pH soil, but they did suffer a lot from drought one dry summer. Beautiful tree with the best yellow fall color of any birch and should be used in landscapes. Some native plant nurseries and large, diverse nurser... read more


On Nov 4, 2006, Nkytree from Burlington, KY wrote:

I became facinated with Sweet Birch a couple years ago while hiking in the Red River Gorge area of Kentucky. I came across a massive moss covered boulder (about 20ft high) in a ravine area which had a medium sized tree growing on top of it. Upon further inspection it was a sweet birch which had over time grown roots over the sides of the boulder to reach the earth at the base. I would like to find the tree again someday and take a picture.

A beautiful tree in form, foliage, and tenacity. Unfortunately it doesnt have the white bark demanded of birches used in landscapes.


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

I have a number of these on my property - most are small (10' or so high and no more than 3 inches in diameter), although one is slightly larger, and another is about 60' tall with a 14-16" diameter trunk.

The twigs have a very distinctive wintergreen fragrance - these trees supply both wintergreen flavoring extract and the key ingredient in birch beer.

I discovered that I had this on my land by trimming what I thought were suckers on some oaks last spring - the sap was running and the scent filled the air. These trees seem to like to grow right up against other trees. All but a few of the ones on my property are up against an oak, maple, or sassafras - even the largest one has displaced a trunk of what once was a maple that it grew up next to.
... read more


On Jul 31, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Not a white-barked birch and excellent as a shade tree.