Black Birch

Betula lenta

twigThis birch, also known as sweet or cherry birch grows in and along the slopes of deep, cool, moist ravines. It grows from Maine, Quebec, and Ontario; to Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio; and in Georgia and Alabama.

barkThe bark somewhat resembles that of wild cherry. Although the leaves of this and yellow birch are very similar, the leaves of the black birch are more heart-shaped at the base.

Oil of wintergreen is obtained by distilling the twigs and inner bark of this tree. One can readily detect the wintergreen oil just by smelling a freshly broken twig. Both birch beer and birch tea are make from black birch.


Identify Another Tree

This key was developed by "bt" in June 1982. It was put into HTML format by Stephen Ostermiller in July 1997. Copies of the entire guide in zip format that may be taken to camp on a laptop are available to those who write.