Common birch trees include Paper Birch, River Birch, and Yellow Birch. Paper Birches are easily identified by their smooth, white bark which peels back in paper-like sheets. River Birches have medium brow bark and thick green leaves. Yellow Birches are noticeable by their fall foliage of brilliant gold.
Birch trees are often cultivated because of their graceful appearance, but are generally very difficult to maintain. Although a healthy birch tree may live 40 to 50 years, many birch trees in modern landscapes die well before reach 20 years of age. This short livedness is often due to an unsuitable environment or care.