Fall foliage will be arriving soon and that makes us think of our state tree the white birch. This is a beautiful tree although not particularly majestic. Its white bark stands out next to other trees which have a more typical dark bark. Birch bark is a cream white with a yellow hue and peels in thin paper-like layers.
The state legislature designated the white birch as the state tree in 1947, appropriate because it is native to New Hampshire and found in all regions of the state. The tree is often referred to as “canoe birch” or “paper birch.” Both names make sense as Indians used the bark to make canoes and others use the bark to write on.
Here on the Inn On Golden Pond’s property we have white birch and other birches in our 50 wooded acres. And around Squam Lake and throughout the New Hampshire Lakes Region birch trees are common. If you hike trails in the white mountains or closer to us in the Squam range you will certainly come across birch trees. Typically birches are scattered throughout the woods, however we love the birch forest further north on Route 2 in Shelburne, NH where there is a large concentration of birches right along the roadside.
While many people think the White Mountains were named for their snow covered peaks and others think it was because of the light color reflected off of the mica rock formations, we like to think it was because of the white birches that are prevalent throughout the forest that covers the mountains.