Native SpeciesPaper birch

Betula papyrifera
FOUND by John Libby
ID Questioned
Quality checked by John Libby
Peer reviewed by
Field Notes
I'm happy because it's not raining while I'm doing this. I see, hear, and smell lots of leaves of various trees and plants. Branches are intertwined at times. Questions and problems I ran into...Leaves from birch trees were entangled with other trees, misleading me at first.
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
Leaf is oval, pointed, with toothed edges.
Photo of my evidence.
White, thin, papery bark on the adult
Photo of my evidence.
Reddish-brown bark on the sapling
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Betula papyrifera
Common name:
Paper birch
Sampling method: 
Just looking around
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 44.087300 °
W -69.798930 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Forest
Trip Information
Woods in Richmond, Maine
Trip date: 
Thu, 2017-07-27 12:06
Town or city: 
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey
Lower Kennebec


Your photos are great! I think you may have a grey birch. This is based on your leaf shape which is more triangular than the paper birch. Also your leaves look quite glossy, whereas paper birch tend to be duller. You're right about the young bark being a great clue! Unfortunately most young birch species can look surprisingly similar making that characteristic a bit tough to differentiate between them. Keep looking closely, especially with a keen eye for differences in leaf shape and also for that really peely bark - you'll find this beauty!

Thanks for the tips, Jamien! I'll go back and look some more.

Boy! The leaves DO look more like grey birch. The young bark is similar on both species, as you said.

Here are my coordinates for Richmond, Maine:

Latitude: 44.0873000°
Longitude: -69.7989300°

Is that accurate?


Thank you for the update. If you look above at the map you can confirm the location. Let us know if that is correct.

-The VS Team-

It looks right to me now.

Hi John Libby,

This is a great observation! Looks like a beautiful place. It looks like your coordinates are a bit off though. The map shows you are on Vinalhaven, but your Town is listed as Richmond. If you were not in Vinalhaven for this observation, please comment below with the correct coordinates (in decimal degrees).

Thank you and thanks for getting out there and looking around.

-The VS Team-