Betula alleghaniensis (Fr: bouleau jaune | En: yellow birch)
The yellow birch is the official tree of Quebec, and what a great choice at that. It has a beautiful silver, golden or copper colour of its bark that makes it stand out in a forest. Its wood is prized as a hardwood, being used for many purposes such as flooring, furniture and more. The tree also produces wintergreen oil in its bark, buds and roots which give them a root-beer like aroma. These buds and twigs can be used to make a tea, and the tree can even be tapped to produce syrup like a sugar maple. However when boiling it down it loses its wintergreen aroma, leaving a syrup more comparable to maple syrup.
In the wild, this tree often sprouts from decaying logs and stumps, as the stump or log rots away the roots become more exposed leaving the base to to look like an octopus. The tree is important to wildlife feeding many mammals and game birds with its buds and twigs, it is also the host for several butterflies.
Height: 20 meters
Habitat: North sides of hills, hemlock swamps, rich moist forests
Sun requirements: Shade tolerant
Moisture requirements: Moist
Soil requirements: rich in organic