Winter Tree ID: Gray Birch

Photo of Gray Birch in winter

Gray Birch (Betula populifolia) spends parts of the white season in a full body stretch. When heavy snow and ice coat the trees, their flexibility is tested, and though not all survive the experience, most winters the vast majority do. In late fall and winter, if not locked in ice, the cone-like female catkins drop their seeds, which you may notice sprinkled atop freshly fallen snow. Small songbirds, including American Goldfinches, feed on the tiny seeds. Gray Birch bark starts out dark reddish brown and becomes off-white and marked with black chevrons with age. (To see the following photos in full-size, click here.)

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