The Paper Birch is a well-known tree and perhaps one of the most beautiful native trees of America. When thinking of birch most people think of the white peeling bark of the Paper Birch. Jefferson County is on the extreme southern end of the Paper Birch range, and growth is usually limited to the 25-30 foot range. The bark comes off in large sheets (and must not be physically removed as it will leave permanent black scars on the tree). The tree should be planted in a cool moist area in order to obtain best health and form, or else the tree could become susceptible to disease. Tree has a loose pyramidal shape and the fall color is a brilliant yellow. The tree is short-lived to 30-50 years.
The tree is one of the most used trees both historically and in modern times. The Native Americans of the area used the trees for medicinal qualities (the sap can cure colds) and for function (the bark was used to clad canoes). The wood is used now for everything from popsicle sticks to toothpicks to clothespins.
The tree is a host plant for 329 species of butterflies and moths in the greater Jefferson County area including the Luna Moth and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. The redbud attracts 19 different genera of birds which include wrens, finches, orioles, cardinals, and thrushes.