River Birch

A prize native birch valued for its stunning bark, with white, brown and tan colors all peeling from mature trunks; good fall color; requires acidic soil, susceptible to chlorosis in alkaline soils. This river bottom native also does well on upland soils. Resistant to bronze birch borer, it has nice yellow fall color, and attractive cinnamon-brown exfoliating bark for an interesting winter effect. Clumps have three or more stems.

River Birch has dark green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding yellow in the fall. It features subtle chartreuse catkins in early spring. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The peeling brown bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

is a vigorous, fast-growing, medium-sized, Missouri native deciduous tree which occurs on floodplains, swampy bottomlands and along streams throughout the State. In cultivation, it can be trained as either a single trunk or multi-trunked tree. As a single trunk tree, it develops a pyramidal habit when young, but matures to a more rounded shape typically growing 40-70′ tall. Multi-trunked trees form a more irregular crown and are generally considered to be the superior growth habit for this species. Salmon-pink to reddish brown bark exfoliates to reveal lighter inner bark. Leathery, diamond-shaped, medium to dark green leaves (1.5-3.5″ long) with doubly toothed margins turn yellow in fall. Monoecious flowers appear in drooping, brownish male catkins and smaller, upright, greenish female catkins.

Botanical name: Betula nigra
All Common Names: River Birch
Family (English): Birch
Family (Botanic): Betulaceae
Foliage: Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Height: 40-50′
Spread: 30-40′
Shape: Oval
Exposure: Full Sun
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Foliage: Golden Yellow
Zone: 4-8

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River Birch