gray birch Betulaceae Betula populifolia
Leaf:Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, triangular with a very elongated acuminate tip, 2 to 3 inches long, doubly serrate margin, green above and paler below.
Flower:Species is monoecious; preformed male catkins near the end of the twig, 3/4 inch long, usually single; female upright, 1/2 inch long; appear or elongate (males) in early spring.
Fruit:Cone like, cylindrical, 3/4 inch long, deciduous at maturity, releasing tiny 2-winged nutlets. Matures in autumn, disperses over winter.
Twig:Slender, orange-brown to gray in color with warty, raised lenticels that give the twig a rough feel; buds are slender, pointed, green and brown, terminal bud is lacking.
Bark:Reddish brown with numerous lighter lenticels on very young stems, later turning gray to white and very chalky; remains smooth and generally does not peel.
Form:Small tree rarely over 30 feet tall typically with multiple trunks and a limby bole. The crown is irregular in shape with somewhat drooping slender branches.