8 Common Types of Birch Trees

This tree, native to Alaska, Canada, and northern U.S. states, has beautiful white bark and golden autumn color. It may form single-trunk trees or tiny clusters with many trunks.

Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)

Bog birch, a medium-sized, short-lived, clump-forming shrub from North America, thrives in moist areas. The plant can resist road salt, alkaline soil, clay soil, and periodic floods.

Bog Birch (Betula pumila)

River birch, a native of the eastern US, is a fast-growing house tree. It may be a single-trunk or multi-trunk clumping tree. River birch is sometimes called red, black, or water birch.

River Birch (Betula nigra)

Cherry birch is a huge tree with one trunk. Yellow leaves and shiny red-brown bark make this tree excellent for lawns and naturalized areas. The bark of mature trees has vertical fractures that produce uneven scaly plates, like cherry trees.

Sweet Birch (Betula lenta)

The dwarf shrub Betula nana is endemic to arctic and cold temperate climates, notably tundra. It grows in many situations, but prefers a damp, well-drained spot. Shade does not suit it.

Dwarf Birch (Betula nana)

European and Asian silver birches have charming pendulous branches and papery white bark. The single-trunk tree develops from pyramidal to oval.

Silver Birch (Betula pendula or B. verrucosa)

Spring blooms, rich golden autumn color, and dazzling white papery bark make Himalayan birch attractive. This medium-sized tree has a single stem that swiftly branches into a pyramid.

Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis var. jacquemontii)

The medium to large Asian white birch has white bark and slender, spreading branches with drooping branchlets. Although it enjoys full sun, the Japanese white birch thrives in northern and eastern exposures with afternoon shade.

Japanese White Birch (Betula platyphylla 'Japonica')