Yellow Birch

(Betula alleghaniensis)

Other Names:
Golden Birch


Betulaceae - Birch Family

Growth Type:
Deciduous tree

60 - 80 feet tall


Woody Trunk. The bark on mature trees is a shiny yellow-bronze which flakes and peels in fine horizontal strips. The bark often has small black marks and dark horizontal lenticels. After the tree reaches a diameter greater than 1 ft the bark typically stops shredding and reveal a platy outer bark although the thinner branches will still have the shreddy bark. When scraped, the twigs will smell slightly of wintergreen. This is due to the methyle salicylate contained in the inner bark.


Flower Season:
Late summer to early autumn

Flower Appearance:
The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins 3 to 6 cm (1.2–2.4 in) long, the male catkins pendulous, the female catkins erect.

The fruit, maturing in fall, is composed of numerous tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts.

Miscellaneous characteristics:
Can be used in much the same manner as black birch Betula lenta.

Moist, cool, ravines and forests with well drained, deep, and rich soil. Occasionally it can also found in cool marshlands

Parts Used:
Inner bark, sap, leaves, twigs

Wild Food Uses:
Sap can be boiled to make a syrup similar to maple syrup. Leaves and twiges make a flavorful tea.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:
While not potent as black birch, yellow borch can be used in much the same manner. The inner bark has been used to treat pain, rheumatism, and stomach ailments.

Medicinal Actions:
Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesic, Antiarthritic, Antilithic, Astringent, Anthelmintic, Bitter, Diuretic, Lithotriptic, Stimulant, Stomachic

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