One of my favourite trees is the Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera). Although some people give it a pass, saying it’s ‘messy’ or ‘short lived’ or ‘disease prone’ I say “Who Cares?” Just look at the gorgeous white bark, and marvel at how layers will peels off, only to reveal a new surface even more brilliant than the last.
I especially like to watch as young trees, with grey brown bark that makes them very similar in appearance to other Betula, start to turn white. You can see in this photo the trunk on the left is still quite dark, while the larger trunk in front, older perhaps by just a year, is revealing its bright mature colour.
Yes, in our (relatively) warm County it may live only 30 to 40 years, that’s quite possibly longer than I’ll be around! And it may get attacked by one bug or another – but very few trees these days are resistant to all insects. And it may indeed shed twigs and, gasp, leaves in fall. But really, who cares?