The Palest Trees In The Land: Five Cool Facts About Birch Trees

Do you remember the first time you saw a birch tree? You were probably mesmerized by its white, peeling bark, which was so different from the brown-gray bark of any other tree you had ever seen. Indeed, birch trees are truly unique from other tree varieties – and not just because of their bark. Learn a little more about these interesting specimens, and you might just be inspired to plant one in your own yard.

Some varieties of birch tree have pinkish bark.

Though birch trees are typically known for their white bark, some varieties have bark with a pinkish tint. The Chinese Red Birch is one example. River birch trees also have bark that starts off a pale, pinkish color and becomes whiter with age.

River birches often grow where the soil is too acidic for any other plants to grow.

They can tolerate a soil pH as low as 2.0, which is far below that which most other trees prefer. For this reason, river birch trees are often the first species to take root in streams and riverbeds that have been made too acidic by mining or pollution.

After a forest fire, the canoe birch is often one of the first varieties of tree to grow.

It thrives in the nutrient-dense soils that exist after a fire, and it enjoys the heavier sun exposure that results from destruction of much of the forest's canopy.

The peeling bark of birch trees provides a food source for various animal species.

If you have a birch in your backyard, you may see deer visiting in the winter to feed on its bark. This soft, pliable bark provides them with the nutrients they need to make it through the winter, a time when the berries and grasses they generally eat are not available. Further north in Canada, moose and elk also feed on birch bark.

There are dwarf birth trees.

Just because you're short on space does not mean you can't plant a birch tree on your property. Dwarf birch trees, which occur natively in northern Canada and Greenland, have been cultivated widely across North America. They only grow to about 1 meter (3 feet) in height.

There are many different varieties of birch trees, and each has slightly different requirements when it comes to soil and climate. To find a birch species that will thrive in your area, visit a local garden store or speak with a landscaping professional at Corner Landscaping & Tree Service.