Betula nigra, Red Birch

Size: tree, 40-70' average height at maturity, 40-60' spread

Buds: imbricate, about .25", pubescent (although fuzz easily rubs off), generally somewhat appressed

Leaves: deciduous, alternate, 1.5-3.5" long, .75-2.5" wide, simple, rhombic-ovate, sharp-pointed, doubly serrate or shallowly lobed, shiny dark green above, glaucous below, downy petiole, yellow in fall

Twigs: slender, brown to grayish, short "spur" branches on older wood, each terminated by a bud, no wintergreen scent or taste

Flowers: monoecious, unlike alders, winter catkins of one type only (male; females look like regular buds), catkins slender and brown, usually in groups of 3 (2-4), about .75" long

Fruit: small nutlet in .5" thick cylindric catkin, to 1.5" long

Bark: reddish brown on trunk and older branches, conspicuous exfoliation