What white birch looks like

Size and shape

  • Medium-sized tree.
  • Can reach 25 metres tall.
  • Trunk up to 60 centimetres in diameter.


  • Egg-shaped or triangular.
  • 5 to 10 centimetres long.
  • Dull green on top and lighter green and slightly hairy underneath.


  • Thin, smooth white bark that peels off in large sheets.


  • Long, slim green-brown “catkins”.

Where white birch is found

White birch is found across Ontario except along the shore of Hudson Bay.

What you need to know to grow white birch

  • Moisture: can tolerate a variety of moisture levels.
  • Shade: intolerant — needs full sun.
  • Soil: can tolerate a variety of soils.

Benefits and uses of white birch

Wildlife benefits

Buds, leaves and seeds from white birch are a food source for birds and animals.

Commercial uses

The wood from white birch trees is used for:

  • pulpwood
  • specialized lumber
  • veneer
  • furniture
  • cabinetry

Fun facts about white birch

  • Peeling off too much white birch bark can kill the tree.
  • White birch are often used in landscaping because they will grow almost anywhere given enough sunlight.