Birch trees typically grow in lowland areas in the northern hemisphere, a few species grow at higher elevations. Birch trees like slightly acidic, well-drained soil. They are often one of the first trees to grow after a fire.
Birch trees are a pioneer species that shows up after a forest is clear cut or after a fire. Birch trees are widespread across the northern hemisphere, in areas such as the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia. They prefer temperate and boreal climates but can sometimes be found in montane climates as well. They prefer cool, moist soil, and their shallow root systems are sensitive to drought. Birch trees also require full to partial sun, so they are most likely grow in open areas near some kind of water, such as a river or stream. Birch trees do not tolerate dry or warm climates or shade. Most species of birch can live in nutrient-poor soil. Birch trees don't live very long and are found in stands in which the trees are all about the same age. Birch trees can become a threat in some areas if the population is not controlled since they are a species that grows easily and quickly.