Ontario Trees & Shrubs website

Cherry Birch
Betula lenta

Other common names: Black Birch, Sweet Birch

Family: Birch Family (Betulaceae)

Group: Birches

Distinctive features: Tree

Similar species:
  •   White Birch (Betula papyrifera) - bark papery and white.

  •   Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

  •   Green Alder (Alnus viridis)
  •   European Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
  •   Speckled Alder (Alnus incana)

Flowers: Spring

Leaves: Alternate, Simple, Toothed

Habitat: Forests;  Open forests.

Books: Trees in Canada: 295   

Native/Non-native: Native

Notes: Mature Cherry Birch trees are only found in a single location in Ontario: a single stand of them in Port Dalhousie (St. Catharines) on Lake Ontario, on private property. The tree featured on this page is a young one at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: lenta: tough, flexible

Photographs: 22 photographs available, of which 9 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

Bark of Cherry Birch is dark, not at all like White Birch (Betula papyrifera). This is the bark of a young tree. Note the similarity of the bark to that of Cherries - hence the tree's name: Cherry Birch! The two types of trees are easily confused.

Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

The lower trunk.

Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

The overall form of a young Cherry Birch.

Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

The leaves are elliptical. This is the upper side of a leaf.

Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

The underside of a leaf.

Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

Male flowers in late May.

Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

Catkins in June.

Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

Developing fruit, in early July.

Range map for Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)