River Birch Growing and Maintenance Tips. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Exfoliating cinnamon-colored bark creates winter interest. Bloom Time: Spring. River birch are prized trees in Midwest gardens for their four season interest and aesthetics. Seed grown. Often selected as an ornamental tree in the landscape for its beautiful exfoliating bark, and multi-stemmed trunk. The tiny flowers are green or brown and are unimpressive and inconspicuous. Beautiful large tree as focal point or shading. In cultivation, it can be trained as either a single trunk or multi-trunked tree. Good choice for the St. Louis area and generally a good substitute for the paper birch in the hot and humid areas of USDA Zones 5-9. Easily grown average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. River Birch is an attractive, vigorous, moisture-loving tree. One of the most disease-free birches. Seldom requires pruning. The 3″ pendant male flowers are much more noticeable than the shorter, erect female catkins. Initially about 2 inches long, the green catkins overwinter on the tree, growing longer in the Distinctive curling, blackish bark exfoliates to reveal varied shades of orange, gray, and lavender, depending on the cultivar. The river birch is monoecious and bears male and female flower clusters called catkins on the same tree. Cultivar is a more resilient form of American native species. Your climate might be too cold for this plant: Water regularly to maintain wet or evenly moist soil - weekly or more. Bloom Time - Bloom Color - USDA Hardiness Zone - 4a . Reported to have other better features than the regular native river birch. Still relatively short-lived when compared to many shade trees. Weakened birches become vulnerable to the bronze birch borer which typically infects and kills birches stressed by summer heat and humidity. It's easy to understand why the Heritage® River Birch is such a popular tree. In nature, they are found in flood plains, swamps, and along streams. The river birch tree often is used for landscaping due to its graceful drooping limbs and attractive color. Bark more showy than the regular native species. Male flowers appear on birch trees at the end of summer as clusters of erect catkins. Plants benefit with a 3 to 4 inch layer of mulch and supplemental water in dry periods. The foliage is medium to dark green and obtains yellow margins in the fall. Facts. Height: 40-70 ft Width: 30-50 ft Soil Conditions: Moist/Well Drained Bloom Time: Apr Hardiness Zone: 3 TO 9. Attractive buff-colored peeling bark is a wonderful backdrop for yellow fall foliage color. Foliage matures to a clear butter yellow in fall for outstanding specimen. The birch's leaves are oval, 1 to 4 inches long. Cold Hardiness-20 to -30° F. Sun Exposure: Full sun. Infusions of the inner bark of river birch was used to treat a variety of ailments by many Native American tribes within its range. Thrives in deep, loamy, moist but well-drained soil amended with sand or gravel, but highly adaptable. Adapts well to heavy clay soils of Missouri and will tolerate poor drainage. Monoecious flowers appear in drooping, brownish male catkins and smaller, upright, greenish female catkins.Genus name is the Latin name for birch.Specific epithet means black. It can be grown as a single-stemmed specimen or multi-stemmed tree. Tolerating heat better than other birch species, its range extends all the way to northern Florida. River birches are Missouri natives that are naturally adapted to the climate and are extremely resistant to birch borer. Choosing plants that grow and thrive in your particular climate is the very first step toward having a beautiful garden . Bloom Time/Color: April-May; brown/green Fall Color: Yellow Uses: Specimen, shade tree, rain gardens Maintenance: Low Tree Shape: Pyramidal, round Other: Bronze birch borer resistant, deer resistant. River Birch. Unlike other trees, that should be pruned in late Fall to early Spring, the River Birch tree has a different timeline. Water deeply, regularly in first few growing seasons to establish root system; once established tolerates mild drought, but reaches maximum growth in rich, fertile, evenly moist soils. Special Features: Deer resistant. As a single trunk tree, it develops a pyramidal habit when young, but matures to a more rounded shape typically growing 40-70' tall. Fertilize in early spring. Height: 40' Spread: 30-40' Space: 30-40' Growth Rate: Fast. Best Time of Year to Prune River Birch Trees. Most species of birch grow best in cool, northern climates, but do not adapt well to the hot summers of USDA Zones 5-9 and can be short-lived therein. Leathery, diamond-shaped, medium to dark green leaves (1.5-3.5" long) with doubly toothed margins turn yellow in fall. Bloom Time: Inconspicuous; prized for foliage and bark. Noteworthy Characteristics. As a landscape plant, it is grown as a single-stem tree or in a clump as a multi-stemmed tree with three or more trunks. They have cinnamon-colored bark that peels from the trunk. These trees can be grown either with a single trunk or multi-stemmed. Over time the bark will show a whole host of colors, including orange, gray, lavender and salmon. Consider using soaker hoses and bark mulches to keep the root zones cool and moist. Noteworthy Characteristics. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Growth Habit: Pyramidal to Round. Birch are available as single trunk trees or those with multi-trunks as clumps. For example, some trees, like birch and willows, bloom early to lengthen their pre-summer food production time. Older trees display coarse scales. Botanical Name: Betula nigra. The fruit forms as 3-inch long clusters of seeds called catkins. The ideal spot is the north or east side of a building, where the tree will receive full sun in the morning and some shade during the afternoon. Avoid pruning in spring when the sap is running. Use as a s pecimen or in small groupings in any landscape, and in particular for wet soils along ponds, streams or in low areas. Tolerates moist areas. Foliage - Deciduous . On the other hand, trees, like oaks and elms, prolong their bud break to protect against sudden drops in spring temperatures early on. Zone: 4 to 9 Height: 40.00 to 70.00 feet Spread: 40.00 to 60.00 feet Bloom Time: April to May Bloom Description: Brown (male) and green (female) Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium to wet Maintenance: Low Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Rain Garden Leaf: Good Fall Other: Winter Interest River birch in bloom (L) with the male catkins most noticeable (R). No Retailers found within 50 miles of your zipcode. Full sun. River Birch. Birches are fast growing trees appreciated for their papery, peeling layers of bark, and river birch is no exception. 'Heritage' is a very popular river birch cultivar with superior ornamental features to the species (see Betula nigra 'Curly' HERITAGE). River birch is a fast-growing, deciduous semi-aquatic tree that reaches between 50 and 90 feet in height. Without pruning, it … The exfoliating bark on this birch species sets it apart in the landscape. The Garden wouldn't be the Garden without our Members, Donors and Volunteers. Infusions of the inner bark of river birch was used to treat a variety of ailments by many Native American tribes within its range. Your climate may be too cold for this plant, SIGN-UP FOR DESIGN INSPIRATION AND UPDATES ON NEW PLANTS, 817 E. MONROVIA PLACEAZUSA, CALIFORNIA 91702-1385, LEGACY OUR STORY NURSERY LOCATIONS SUSTAINABILITY PRESS CAREERS INTERNSHIPS, FIND A MONROVIA PROFESSIONAL BECOME A MONROVIA PRO, CONTACT US FAQs RETURN POLICY SHIPPING INFO HOW TO ORDER ONLINE. Betula nigra, commonly called river birch, is a vigorous, fast-growing, medium-sized, Missouri native deciduous tree which occurs on floodplains, swampy bottomlands and along streams throughout the State. Average Size at Maturity: Quickly reaches 40 to 60 ft. tall and wide; 70 ft. tall in ideal conditions. Design Ideas Oval, serrated leaves are dark green in the summer, bright yellow in the fall Exfoliating, cream and tan bark reveals a lighter, inner bark 'Dura Heat', as the name states, has good tolerance to summer heat and drought Bloom Time: April to May The trunk bark of older mature trees is gray-brown and scaly, exfoliating only slightly, while the trunk bark of young trees exfoliates extensively, becoming ragged with patches of reddish brown, dull orange, or pinkish tan. River birch put out catkins in the spring which can remain until autumn, adding to the splendor of its yellow fall color. Blooming Length: April to May. Hardiness: Zones 4 to 9. Flower Bloom Time: Spring Flower Size: 1-3 inches Flower Description: The River Birch has light green, 2 to 3 inch slim, cylindrical flowers and fruiting staminate catkins 2 to 3 inches long that bloom in early spring. Plus, it's an elegant source of shade, with unique peeling bark that stands out in your landscape. Inconspicuous; prized for foliage and bark. Hardy in United States Department of Agriculture zones 4 to 9, river birch is the most widely distributed and adapted birch tree in the states. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Betula nigra is an Iowa native. The river birch is a popular tree for river banks and wet parts of the garden. Betula nigra. One of the most disease-free birches. The graceful river birch has dark, satiny exfoliating bark in rich shades of brown and pink. After pollination, clusters of small, brown winged fruit form in the spring. While it prefers a damp environment, it can grow on higher land as well. Keep reading to learn more river birch tree facts, such as river birch tree care and effectively using river birch trees in … River birch is widely planted for its appealing, peeling bark and shiny, diamond-shaped leaves. For starters, it's resistant to common diseases, grows up to 2 to 3 feet each year, and adapts to a variety of soil types. The best time to prune River Birch trees is late summer or early Fall. Heritage® river birch. Although river birches have some susceptibility to aphids, leaf miner and iron chlorosis in high pH soils, these problems are somewhat minor in comparison to the birch borer. An improved variety larger, glossier leaves that turn golden yellow in fall and better exfoliating bark color that provides year round interest. Bloom Description: Brown (male) green (female), Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Wet Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution. There are very few rules in gardening, but perhaps the most important one is to work within your zone. Because birch are shallow-rooted, they prefer a location where the soil remains cool and moist while exposing the canopy to ample sunlight (about 6 hours daily). Adaptation: In its native habitat, river birch grows well in low and medium elevations and is most common along streams. The dark green leaves are leathery to the touch and turn yellow in the fall. Guarantee: Earl May Nursery Stock Guarantee River Birch Betula nigra Birch family (Betulaceae) Description: This tree is 40-90' at maturity, often forming a trunk that divides early and developing an irregular crown. ‘Dura Heat’ is a little more compact than the straight species River Birch and, as the name might suggest, has better heat tolerance. Prefers moist, acidic, fertile soils including semi-aquatic conditions, but also tolerates drier soils. River Birch. Inner bark is creamy white. Aphids and sooty mold can be problems on river birches. Sun Exposure - Sun Salmon-pink to reddish brown bark exfoliates to reveal lighter inner bark. Water Needs: Moist, Well Drained Soil. Classic, Fast-Growing Ornamental Tree Why Heritage® River Birch Trees? Additional Information: This River Birch has salmon-pink to reddish brown bark. Heat/drought tolerant. Winter bark is pinkish-orange in color and shaggy textured with prominent exfoliation well suited to night lighting. The leaves are oval, around 1-1/2 to 3 inches long, and 1 to 2 inches wide with slightly serrated margins and are shiny and medium green in color. © 2020 MONROVIA NURSERY COMPANY. Resistant to bronze birch borer. Birches are considered “bleeders”, avoid pruning in late spring before leaves emerge. Care Information: Avoid pruning in spring. River Birch Tree Facts. About Heritage River Birch Clump. Common Names: River birch. Deciduous. River birch is perhaps the most culturally adaptable and heat tolerant of the birches. River Birch 'Cully' (Betula nigra) is often sold under the name HERITAGE. Excellent tree for very large homesites, parks and open space. It is fast growing and provides shade about as quickly as any tree can. Birch trees are lovely, graceful trees with pale bark and bright, heart-shaped leaves. River birch are tall, graceful-looking trees. Use as specimen or near ponds and wet areas. Better disease and insect resistance than other birch species; also very resistant to bronze birch borer. If pruned too early in the year, when awakening from their winter rest, they bleed a heavy flow of sap. PRIVACY POLICY|TERMS & CONDITIONS|SITE MAP. These are fast growing trees that are coveted for the peeling bark. It is easy to grow, has a vigorous growth rate and improved disease and insect resistance. River birch is monoecious (separate male and female flowers on the same plant) with flowers arranged in catkins. They form at different times; the male catkins form in fall and bloom in the spring, when the female catkins appear. River birch is drought sensitive and does not like hot, dry summers. Skip to the beginning of the images gallery. Birch can thrive in a wide range of soil types, really only objecting to extremely wet or dry conditions, says Paul Bartlett of Stone Lane Gardens, … Important component of the wetland wild garden and for re-vegetating disturbed sites along river banks that benefit from extensive root stabilization of eroding banks.. Multi-trunked trees form a more irregular crown and are generally considered to be the superior growth habit for this species. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Its attractive bark is especially striking in the winter when the rest of the tree is bare. River birch (Betula nigra) is a fast-growing, shade tree native to the Mississippi River flood plain in southeastern Minnesota.It is popular for its ornamental peeling bark. Betula nigra, commonly called river birch, 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. Fast grower to 40 feet and taller, 30 feet and more wide. Quickly reaches 40 to 60 ft. tall and wide; 70 ft. tall in ideal conditions. An impressive specimen, commonly found with several trunks. This tree sports curling papery bark the color of cinnamon sugar, and diamond shaped leaves that seem to shimmer in the breeze. - Narrow, pyramidal growth habit when young. Densely pyramidal form features glossy green diamond-shaped leaves. Specimen or small groupings for lawns, parks and commercial properties, and, in particular, for wet soils along ponds, streams or in low spots. A problem solver for low lying sites to wet for many other species. Size - Large . Betula nigra, commonly called river birch, 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. Leaves: Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics: Deciduous Leaf Color: Gold/Yellow Green Leaf Feel: Rough Leaf Value To Gardener: Showy The birch tree lifespan depends upon where the tree is growing. They are in the genera Betula, which is the Latin word for “to shine,” and if you have a birch tree in your yard, you may agree that the tree seems to have a glow.How long do birch trees live? Bloom Time: Grown for its foliage. Some trees may have naturalized in the wild from yards and gardens, but several populations in New England are native, and the species is listed as rare in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Betula nigra ‘Dura Heat’ is a decidedly superior variety of River Birch. 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