Black birches?

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

Post Reply
User avatar
sam goodwin
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:15 pm

Black birches?

Post by sam goodwin » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:05 pm

I have been reading Bob's reports about black birch so I went down to East Granby Ct. to check and measure what I believe are black birch. There are many acres of predominately black birch, many with some type of blight. I have been going there off and on since 2002 and have been looking for note worthy big trees without much luck for the last 5 years or so. Birch trees were not high on my list, but there are some interesting ones in the area. After the birch the next highest number of trees are white pines followed by oaks. a few maples, white birch, yellow,(Silver?) and I found some leaves that look like what the books call sycamore but I did not see the trees and those are hard not to see! White pines up to 10'5" cbh X 85' feet tall. Yellow, (silver?) birch, a hollow, double at 11'3" cbh X 65', pictures 1 - 4. Picture pb230035 is an over view of the yellow,(birch) grove. The one I measured is the "V" double in the background. The biggest black? birch was 6'10" cbh X 75' tall.The one with my wife and pictures 5 - 10 In pictures 11 - 13, are a tree that was cut down and I counted about 65 rings at about 22' from the base and the diameter was 14" X 14". CBH @ 4.5 was about 5'. Pictures 14 - 20, are what I call a "tenacious" black?, yellow? birch, the one with me measuring it at 5' about 20' from the roots base and it was some where near 80' tall. Sam Goodwin

User avatar
Posts: 249
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 5:44 pm

Re: Black birches?

Post by JHarkness » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:08 am


Photos 1, 2 and 3 are of a middle aged yellow birch, maybe 100-120 years old? Photo 4 has a mix of young yellow and black birches (40-60 years old) and the rest of the photos are of black birch, also young trees. Your "tenacious" birch is a black birch, a very unique form too! I've seen many tip over and begin to regrow, they are very good at contorting themselves in their quest to find light and create some odd forms when multiple downed trees fuse together in the process of regrowing. Yellow birch does this too, but it's not as common or noticeable. The downed, cut up tree is an eastern hemlock. They're generally not very good to use as a reference to the age of birches in a disturbed setting. Black, paper and gray birches are all pioneer species and are typically the first trees to show up on a site after it's been logged or abandoned, though sugar and red maple can show up at the same time if the soil is rich, while yellow birch, being a tree that competes better on richer sites with more moisture, shows up several years later, and hemlock will show up a little after them being a fully shade tolerant climax species. Generally there is a 8-16 year difference in the age of the first black birches and eastern hemlocks to show up on a typical site in southern and western New England.

The best way to tell very young, middle aged or old growth black and yellow birches apart are by their leaves. Black birches have many fine teeth and a heart-shaped base, while yellow birch has a flatter base with sparse, large, jagged teeth.

Yellow birch: ... sis-00251/
Black birch: ... nta-00268/
"Be not simply good; be good for something." Henry David Thoreau

User avatar
Posts: 850
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:55 am

Re: Black birches?

Post by Lucas » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:08 pm

We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir

Post Reply

Return to “Connecticut”