Gray Birch Betula populifolia - Betula cuspidata

Detailed Listing For
Botanical Name:

Betula populifolia







Common Name:

Gray Birch

25-30 feet
Minimum Hardiness Zone:

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  • Betula populifolia

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Growing Info, follow in order:
Scarification: none required.
Stratification: cold stratify for 60 days.
Germination: requires light for germination, surface sow and keep moist.
Other: stratification may be used instread of surface sowing, it is better to surface sow if possible.
In a Nutshell:
* The sap is sweet. Harvested in early spring, before the leaves unfurl, by tapping the trunk. The flow is best on warm days that follow frosty nights. The sap is drunk as a sweet beverage or it can be fermented to make birch beer or vinegar. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- "To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr'd together, then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm'd. When it is sufficiently boil'd, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work...and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.". more...
* Bark a dull, chalky white, shiny dark green leaves, yellow fall color, one of the smaller birches, useful for naturalizing in dry, poor soil or boggy areas alike, tends to sucker, forming clumps.
* Betula populifolia ( Gray Birch ) is a deciduous tree native to North America . It ranges from southeastern Ontario east to Nova Scotia , and south to Pennsylvania and New Jersey , with disjunct populations in Indiana , Virginia , and North Carolina . It prefers poor, dry upland soils, but is also found in moist mixed woodlands. Short-lived, it is a common pioneer species on abandoned fields and burned areas. more...