A small tree to about 35 ft high, with a white bark; young shoots warty and glabrous. Leaves 2 to 3 in. long, ovate to triangular-ovate, rounded, cuneate or truncate at the base, shortly tapered at the apex, sharply and irregularly toothed, dull green above, glabrous beneath, with up to eight pairs of veins. Female catkins cylindric, 1 to 11⁄2 in. long and about 2⁄5 in. wide, short-stalked; lateral lobes of scales spreading, longer than the terminal one; wings of nutlets deeply notched.
A native of eastern N. America from Nova Scotia to Vermont. It resembles B. populifolia, but in that species the leaves are more finely tapered at the apex and the margins sharply double-toothed. There are two specimens of this birch at Westonbirt, planted in 1934, the taller 47 × 13⁄4 ft (1965) and another at Hergest Croft, Heref., 45 × 6 ft (1961).
B. × coerulea Blanch. – The status of this tree is uncertain. It is agreed that it is of hybrid origin, with B. populifolia as one parent. The other parent is either B. coerulea-grandis or B. papyrifera. It differs from B. populifolia in having the undersides of the leaves hairy on the midrib and main veins, and from B. coerulea-grandis in its smaller leaves (to about 21⁄4 in. long), wedge-shaped at the base.