Betula populifolia - #14
Smallest of the northeastern birches, this tree tends to grow in attractive clumps and is easily identified by its dull, chalky-to-grey bark highlighted by black triangular patches where the branches meet the trunk.
The triangular shaped leaves have long stems which cause them to flutter in the slightest breeze. This characteristic is similar to that of quaking aspen and other poplars, thus some people call this tree “poplar birch”, while others refer to it as “old field birch” because of its tendency to grow in abandoned farm fields. The wood is light and soft and decays quickly, making it a short-lived tree.