A moderate to fast-growing birch that prefers moist garden soil and some protection. You must be prepared to water because it does not tolerate drought (4 weeks of no rain). This birch is the most shade-tolerant of its family, needing only a few hours of sunli ... ght. Should be planted in an area of the yard that is readily accessible so you can break off a twig. The broken twigs smell and taste like wintergreen. The pioneers would harvest 60 saplings (however big that was!) for one quart of wintergreen essence.