Betula occidentalis 
“Western Red Birch”

Betula occidentalis var. fontinalis “Western Red Birch”Betula occidentalis var. fontinalis “Western Red Birch”

photo:(left) Stan Shebs (right) Rob Strusievicz

Best known for its sleek, copper brown bark accented with pale horizontal lines that grow bigger over time, Betula occidentalis var. fontinalis is a fabulous small tree/shrub that deer & elk tend to steer clear of. Growing to a multi-trunked 20-30’ tall & 15’ wide, this birch is native to California & the western states. Found near streams & moist spots in mountainous areas (up to 8000 ft.), it can handle a little bit of drought & is said to do surprisingly well near the coast. Lovely, saw-toothed dark green, 2.5” long oval leaves turn a glorious golden amber in late-Fall. Spring time brings a show of long drooping catkins.

Plant Nerd

Betula occidentalis var. fontinalis “Western Red Birch”
photo: Stan Shebs

Avg.-Moist Water

Deciduous Shrub/Tree
USDA Zones 4-10