Paper birch

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Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)


A hardwood birch tree, Betula papyrifera, native to North America. The paper birch has a silvery white flexible bark that readily peels off in sheets. Paper birch bark was used to make wigwams, baskets, canoes, shoes, and paper pulp. The smooth, light-color wood from the paper birch tree is used for interior trim, flooring and cabinetry.

Synonyms and Related Terms

American white birch (Betula papyrifera); canoe birch; silver birch; poplar birch;

Paper birch (Betula papyrifera)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Tree height = 20-25m Bark = light gray to white, peeling in papery sheets Flowers = catkins (3-8 cm long)

Additional Images

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 104
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Virginia Tech Dendrology website at (accessed Oct. 3, 2005)
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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