Plant Guide > Trees > Birches > Western Black Birch Tree

Western Black Birch Tree

Western Black Birch TreeThe Western Black Birch (B. occidentalis, Hook.) grows from the Black Hills westward, widening its range to south and north, into Alaska and California along the coast, and following the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico. It is widespread, but nowhere common. This graceful little tree is a true birch in habit and in the lustrous, horizontal lenticelled bark, the bronze colour of which is quite sufficient to justify its name and to identify the tree. Unlike the cherry birch, this tree sheds its bark in thin, papery layers.

The brown wood is locally used for fencing and fuel. It is too small a tree to be important for its lumber. It commends itself to planters in the Western States, especially where its roots can get water, for it is as thirsty as an alder, following streams always, or the borders of lakes.