Skip to main content

Tree Browser

With these characteristics: None

Birch, River

Betula nigra

Betulaceae - Birch

Description

Leaves: Alternate; simple; 1-1/2" to 3-1/2" long; 3/4" to 2-1/2" wide; deciduous; rhombic-ovate; doubly serrate margin; wedge-shaped base; tapering sides; petiole short, hairy.

Twigs/buds: Twigs slender; red-brown; more or less hairy below.  No terminal bud; lateral buds pointed.

Flowers/fruit: Monoecious.  Fruit small winged nutlets arranged in a cone-like catkin; cylindrical; erect; hairy; with deciduous scales; matures in late spring.

Bark: Thin; salmon-pink to red-brown; papery.

Wood: Unimportant; see water birch for general description.

General: Native to eastern and southeastern U.S., not Utah.  As with other birches, normally found along streams on cool, moist sites.  Shade intolerant. Prefers abundant water, but may survive on drier sites.

Landscape Use: Possible alternative to European white birch, since it seems to have less problems with borers.  However, suffers from iron chlorosis on high pH soils.  I have seen several of these planted in marginal conditions in Ogden that were doing fairly well.  Bark color and texture is beautiful.  Trees often grown with two or three stems coming from the base.  Zones 4-9.

Cultivars: 'City Slicker', 'Dura-Heat', 'Fox Valley', 'Graceful Arms', 'Heritage', 'Shiloh Splash', 'Summer Cascade', 'Suwanee,' 'Tecumseh Compact'.

Characteristics

General

Family:
Betulaceae - Birch
Cultivar Availability:
Yes
Hardiness Zone:
4-9
Type:
Broadleaf
Utah Native:
No

Growth

Growth Rate:
High
Mature Height:
High
Longevity:
Medium
Is Good Under Power Lines:
No
Crown Shape:
Oval

Ornamental

Bark:
Yes
Fall Color:
No
Flowers:
No
Foliage:
No
Fruit:
No

Tolerence

Shade:
Medium
Salt:
Medium
Drought:
Low
Poor Drainage:
High
Alkalinity:
Low
Transplanting:
Medium