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A birch is a thin-leaved
deciduous In the fields of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, ...
hardwood Hardwood is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and ...

hardwood
tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only wood plants with se ...

tree
of the
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
''Betula'' (), in the family
Betulaceae Betulaceae, the birch family, includes six genera of deciduous In the fields of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Hor ...
, which also includes
alder Alder is the common name of a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (ta ...

alder
s,
hazel The hazel (''Corylus'') is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxon ...

hazel
s, and
hornbeams Hornbeams are hardwood trees in the flowering plant genus ''Carpinus'' in the birch family Betulaceae. The 30–40 species occur across much of the temperateness, temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Origin of names The common English na ...
. It is closely related to the
beech Beech (''Fagus'') is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), ...

beech
-
oak An oak is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including on ...

oak
family
Fagaceae Fagaceae is a family of flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anythin ...
. The genus ''Betula'' contains 30 to 60 known taxa of which 11 are on the IUCN 2011 Red List of Threatened Species. They are a typically rather short-lived
pioneer species Pioneer species are hardy species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group o ...
widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in northern areas of
temperate In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populati ...
climates and in
boreal climate The subarctic climate (also called subpolar climate, or boreal climate) is a climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', ...
s.


Description

Birch species are generally small to medium-sized
tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only wood plants with se ...

tree
s or
shrub A shrub (often called a bush) is a small- to medium-sized perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the p ...

shrub
s, mostly of northern
temperate In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populati ...
and boreal climates. The simple
leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together form the shoot system. Leaves are ...

leaves
are alternate, singly or doubly serrate, feather-veined, petiolate and stipulate. They often appear in pairs, but these pairs are really borne on spur-like, two-leaved, lateral
branchlet {{Short pages monitor


See also

* Birch bark * Birch bark manuscript * Birch beer * Taxonomy of Betula


References


Sources

* * * *


External links


Tree Family Betulaceae
Diagnostic photos of many species, Morton Arboretum specimens * {{Authority control Betula, Ornamental trees Plants used in Ayurveda Plants used in bonsai Taxa named by Carl Linnaeus