Type of Birch tree?

Today while snowshoeing (Frankford, ON) my mom and I came across a birch tree but none like we’ve seen before. Unfortunatley I didn’t have my phone or camera with me today. Figures. :rofl:

I assumed all birch had white bark. This tree did in the top quarter to half of the tree; very white, healthy looking limbs and bark. But the lower portion of the tree was more of the irregular, brownish bark you’d see on many other trees!

Trying to Google it when we got back to my place to research it a bit more, I learned there are MANY species of birch trees, however I couldn’t find what this species was.

Does anyone have any ideas based on that description?? We’re very curious now.

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If you can make a sketch (you don’t need to be a great artist), you could still submit it as an observation to iNaturalist & try to get it Identified.

eg. See here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/nature-drawing-and-journaling

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yellow birch gets bark like that in its lower trunk when the trees are very old.


Your description fits American Sycamore as well - you are just on the edge of its range.


When I first starting observing for iNat, I confused Trembling Aspen trees for Birch.

The tops looked like Birch to me but the bottoms are darker. It was one of the first things I ‘learned’ (by making a mistake in id) at iNat!


I was making a similar mistake. Some years ago when I was trying to find a lifer Common Redpoll, I heard they liked birches, so was searching though every stand I came across. Finally one of my co-workers enlightened me that about half of the trees I was searching weren’t birches.

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yeah good point, both aspen and sycamore are other options. You could peruse photos of each from your area and see if any are an obvious fit. Sycamore in particular is very distinctive even in winter


Thanks everyone. Based on pics on inaturlist, I’m thinking it’s the American Sycamore. I’ll try to get a pic this week to post it. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes definitely sounds like an American Sycamore here’s a picture of one.

Was this what it looked like?

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