Birch trees thrive in partial sunlight, while aspen trees require full sun. Entire forests of new seedlings continuously sprout from the roots, keeping the colony alive, and even surviving wildfires. They look broader or fatter than Birch leaves. var m3_r = Math.floor(Math.random()*99999999999); Aspen tree buds are conical, like those of a birch tree, differing in that aspen trees form terminal buds. document.write ("'><\/scr"+"ipt>"); Aspen buds are reddish-brown in color. Birch trees require loosely packed soil to accommodate their shallow root systems, while aspen trees tolerate a variety of soil conditions. © Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association. The petioles of aspen leaves are flat and alternately arranged along the twig. Aspen leaves are arranged alternately on the branches. if (document.MAX_used != ',') document.write ("&exclude=" + document.MAX_used); The white birch has an ovate or spear-shaped leaf with a double-serrated edge or leaf margin. Also, due to its lightweight properties, it is used for making crates and furniture. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Birch leaves have leaf stems, called petioles, with a rounded stipule, or bump where the leaf attaches to the twig. Aspen – the leaves are heart shaped to rounded and are about 2 to 2 1/2 inches long. if (document.mmm_fo) document.write ("&mmm_fo=1"); '':''); Aspen leaves are flat. They are doubly serrate, meaning the edges of the leaves resemble the blade of a saw, with larger "saw teeth" interspersed among smaller ones. The leaf margins, or edges are toothed. Before leaves ever appear, they begin as buds on the ends of branches. The bark of aspen trees is smooth and white, marked only occasionally by stark black knots or scarring. In the fall, they turn a variety of brilliant colors, from golden yellow to deep red, making the birch a popular tree with landscapers. Both aspen and birch have ovate, serrated leaves -- however aspen leaves are rounder than birch and more finely toothed. Because of the marking caused by the lenticels, the papery bark of birch trees easily flakes and peels off of the trunks of the trees. Birch trees, of the genus Betula, are quite different than aspen trees, of the genus Populus. Both species are tall and slender, have white bark, and are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves in the fall. Aspen trees have smooth, white bark while birch bark can be gray, grayish-white, red or black. Both trees have many uses, some of which are no longer commonly known due to western culture. if (!document.MAX_used) document.MAX_used = ','; Enter to win a $500 travel voucher to customize your perfect vacation to the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. Birch tree leaves are slighly “v” shaped. Imagine going on hike or drive through the Black Hills and seeing the beautiful contrast of the trunk and the leaves. Aspen has heart shaped leaves but birch has oval shaped leaves with tapering tips. document.write (document.charset ? Aspen leaves are almost perfectly round. Due to this they were often planted near homes. When visiting the Black Hills, many people instantly notice all the different types of trees. The aspen and birch are similar in size, typically growing to be about 80 feet tall and about 8 inches – 2 feet 7 inches in diameter. These passions have guided her to writing about all the beautiful places in our country. The next time you’re in the Black Hills, take a closer look at the aspen and birch and you will see what amazing specimens they truly are. These two trees are commonly mistaken for each other due to their similar appearance. Birch leaves have leaf stems, called petioles, with a rounded stipule, or bump where the leaf attaches to the twig. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, aspen tree trunks image by Mike & Valerie Miller from. [CDATA[ var m3_u = (location.protocol=='https:'? Aspen trees are found across the North American continent from Canada down to Mexico, while birch trees are generally only found in the eastern United States and parts of Canada. Regardless of the species of birch, the leaves appear the same. The edges are finely serrated or toothed. Aspen tree buds are conical, like those of a birch tree, differing in that aspen trees form terminal buds. Additionally, horizontal markings mar the surface of birch trees while aspens typically only show knots or scars, as noted by Garden Guides. Birch leaves are doubly toothed around the margins and symmetrical at the base, often forming a heart shape. The buds are reddish-purple in color and shaped like cones. The main difference between the flowers of each tree is the birch is monoecious, which means it is able to produce both male and female flowers.