The Life Cycles of Birch Trees

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Some types of birch trees have white bark.
Some types of birch trees have white bark. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Birch trees are water-loving trees that grow as high as 100 feet tall at maturity. Birch trees grow throughout much of the United States and live for a century or more.

Seed

Mature birch trees reproduce by producing seeds. When the seeds are in the right growing conditions, including a slightly acidic, moist soil, they will germinate and begin growing. Under ideal conditions, a birch tree seedling or sapling will grow as much as 1 foot per year.

Sapling

Maturing birch trees grow quickly. The most rapid growth periods occur when the tree is young. This is also the best time for gardeners to prune and train the birch tree, as it is more likely to heal quickly and not retain serious scarring from the pruning process.

Mature Trees

Mature birch trees begin the cycle of reproduction again, putting out flowers and seeds. Mature birch trees are more likely to be pest- and disease-resistant. As trees near the end of their life cycles, they begin to decline and produce fewer leaves and blossoms each year.

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