roundleaf birch Betulaceae Betula
uber (Ashe) Fernald symbol: BEUB
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, round or broadly ovate, singly or doubly serrated, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long; dark green above and paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; preformed male catkins are 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, pendant, and become much longer and yellow-green as they open in mid-spring; females are upright, 1 inch long, and light green in color.
Fruit: Cone-like aggregate of winged nutlets, 1 to 1 1/2 inch long, upright, ripen in late fall.
Twig: Slender, reddish brown, with numerous lenticels and a wintergreen odor when cut or chewed. Older twigs contain spur shoots. Buds are conical, sharp pointed, and green and brown.
Bark: When young it is dark reddish brown (almost black) with numerous horizontal, slender lenticels; eventually breaks up into small, dark, irregular plates.
Form: A small tree with a narrow crown, and slender branches; can reach up to 60 feet in height.
Looks like: sweet birch - yellow birch - hophornbeam
Additional Range Information: Betula uber is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information