Usually found in moist well-drained soils in rich woodland environments.
Native to North America, from Alaska eastwards across Canada to Quebec and Nova Scotia and southwards to the US states of Washington, Montana, Missouri, New England and New York. There are also isolated populations in Nebraska, Iowa, North and South Dakota and on mountains in Virginia and North Carolina
Like most birches, the paper birch grows best in a well drained sandy or clay soil where winter water-logging is unlikely. It will succeed on heavier soils, but growth there is slower; the tree is likely to be shorter-lived on the latter. The Paper birch does not compete well in shaded woodland situations, so for this reason alone it is best planted in open sunny sites.
Introduced to Europe in around 1750, the paper birch is still cultivated widely as an ornamental in temperate gardens.
Generally available from larger garden centres.