Oregon State University
Alphabetical List of Tree Common Names Alphabetical List of Tree Scientific Names Identification Key Mystery Tree

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paper birch (Betula papyrifera)

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  • Size: Grows to 70' tall and 2' in diameter.

  • Leaves: Simple, alternate, deciduous. Triangular to egg-shaped; 2"-4" long; margins doubly serrate.

  • Fruit: Tiny winged nuts borne in a disintegrating cone about 1" long.

  • Twigs: Slender and droopy.

  • Bark: White and peeling in horizontal strips. Covered with large, horizontal fissures (called lenticels).

  • Distribution: Grows all across Canada and the northern-most portions of the United States; occurs sparingly in the northeast corner of Oregon in the Wallowa mountains.

water birch (Betula occidentalis)

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  • Size: May grow as a shrub or small tree up to 30' tall.

  • Leaves: Simple, alternate, deciduous. Roundish; from 1"-2" wide; coarsely serrated; often sticky.

  • Fruit: Elongated papery cones that disintegrate at maturity. Tiny winged seeds.

  • Twigs: Slender, droopy, and covered with sticky dots of resin.

  • Bark: Thin, reddish-brown to copper-colored; may curl but does not peel.
    Distribution: Commonly found along streams in the mountainous regions of eastern Oregon.

For more information about these species see "Trees to Know in Oregon".

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