The Bartering Birch is a very old birch tree, located at Providence Preparatory Academy for the Advancement of the Arcane Arts (P2A4) in Destiny Province. This tree was brought to the campus as a sapling by Morton Court founder, Thomas Morton. P2A4 is located within a heavily fortified citadel atop a mountain peak in what is known to mundanes as “New Hampshire;" and year at the start of the school term, students launch themselves over the walls of the complex via the Bartering Birch Tree at the base of the hill.
Each student must either solve a riddle or puzzle, or bring an item to trade that the Bartering Birch accepts as payment for admission. Once accepted, students sit in a sling hanging from the thickest branch and, trebuchet-style, the Birch lobs them over the wall. Other students await in the inner courtyard to cheer and catch incoming students as they attempt to conjure a graceful landing. Exploits with the Bartering Birch are discussed for years, as many view the Birch to be fickle or capricious in its admissions requirements, offering somewhat thick-headed offspring of powerful wizard families an easily solvable riddle, or accepting an outright bribe of Leeuwendaalders, while other potential students must solve a complex runic translation in an esoteric language or trade very valuable magical artifacts in order to pass muster. P2A4 has the largest collection of Hands of Glory, for example, as a result of the Bartering Birch’s persuasive rhetoric and eager students’ willingness to pilfer or poach historical artifacts to further their own chances of admission.
Other ways of entrance into the school include Portcullises at Washington Irving’s grave in Sleepy Hollow, and the grave of Jeanne Mance in the Hôtel-Dieu cemetery in Quebec.