Mystery plant 051

This tree grows in northern and central regions of North America.  Its range extends down through the Appalachian mountains into a few southern states.  When you can identify it, please leave a comment below with the common and scientific names — along with any personal story you may have about this tree.


Leaves in spring


Leaves in summer


Sap smells like wintergreen.




Leaves in fall


Trunk of sapling


Trunk of young tree


Trunk of middle-aged tree


ANSWER (subsequently added to this post to facilitate the “search” function for these images): Yellow birch (Betula alleghanienis)

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8 Responses to Mystery plant 051

  1. Rhonda D says:

    Alnus serrulata, tag alder

  2. Tony Ward says:

    Yellow birch, Betula alleghaniensis!

  3. Maggie says:

    Hi Angelyn,
    the mystery plant looks like a species of Birch, Betula sp?

  4. Mike Krebill says:

    Tony Ward is correct: it is Yellow Birch, Betula alleghaniensis.

  5. Tim says:

    In NH we call it paper or white birch. It’s really great for starting camp fires or wood stoves. I have even used the bark from dead trees for making a roof on a shelter to repel rain.

  6. Tim says:

    Oops forgot Betula alleghaniensis.

  7. Angelyn says:

    Yes, indeed, this is Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis). My favorite part of this tree — and the clincher when it came to identifying it — was the fragrance of wintergreen emitted by the scratched twig.

    Thanks, Tim, for sharing how you used the gifts from this tree.

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