Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Betula occidentalis (Red Birch, Water Birch)



 Plantae – Plants


 Tracheobionta – Vascular plants


 Spermatophyta – Seed plants


 Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants


 Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons






 Betulaceae – Birch family


 Betula L. – birch


 Betula occidentalis Hook. – water birch

Similar to Paper Birch, the Red Birch occurs in the eastern ranges of the Pacific northwest, east to Minnesota and south into New Mexico and California.

This cold-hardy birch grows at high elevations and can survive in USDA zones 5-10.

It favors moist but not waterlogged soils along mountain streams where it is browsed by Bighorn sheep.

This tree forms clumps and often reaches 30.’

The coppery-brown bark is highlighted by the deep green leaves and by the brilliant autumn color.


Photo, left, credit:  Stan Shebs; Photo, center, credit:  Stan Shebs; Photo, right, credit:  Daderot


Photo, left, credit:  Sally and Andy Wasowski, Theodore Payne Foundation; Photo, center, credit: Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service; Photo, right, credit:  Stan Shebs


Photo, center, credit: Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service

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