It is faster-growing, has larger, glossier leaves and is less prone to leaf spot than the species. 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, … Salmon-pink, smooth and shiny at first, the bark flakes and curls in cinnamon-brown to blackish sheets. It tolerates fairly dry soils once it is established, but does grow best in moist fertile soils. Fox Valley® (‘Little King’) – This cultivar is a dwarf that may reach 8 to 10 feet tall and 9 to 12 feet wide in 10 years with good growing conditions. The graceful elegance of the birch allows it to be used as a specimen or for naturalizing, and is best used in large areas. The River Birch is a very popular tree in most states due to its adaptable nature allowing it to grow in most growing zones. This fast and easy to grow River Birch Tree reaches a height of 40-50 feet with a width of 25-40 feet at its maturity. Janka Hardness: 970 lb f (4,320 N)* *Estimated hardness based on specific gravity River birch have shallow root systems and surface roots are common. Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter. River birch can be used as a screen or shade tree, and as a street tree with irrigation. COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information », Factsheet | HGIC 1005 | Updated: Sep 19, 2015 | Print. Margins are double-toothed and leaves are arranged alternately. Grows 40 to 70 high by 40 to 60 feet wide. x ‘Royal Frost’ – This birch has burgundy-red to purple foliage, followed by yellow-orange to red fall color. Fall webworms may produce webbing on the ends of limbs from June through the end of summer, and feed on foliage within the webbing. The exfoliating bark reveals white inner bark. Birch trees have a special charm and beauty and the River Birch is a medium-sized tree that usually grows to around 40 feet or more in height. Dura-Heat® (‘BNMTF’ PPAF) – This is a smaller cultivar that grows to 30 to 40 feet tall. Dwarf weeping birch (Betula pendula Trost's Dwarf) is a variety you may want to consider. This is a fast-growing tree that averages about 36 inches of growth per year. Young trees have salmon- to rust-colored bark that matures to a silvery gray. Although it tends to be a medium-sized tree, one tree in Alabama has grown to 111 feet tall, with a diameter of more than 4 feet. These trees prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade. The bark of younger trees is pinkish to reddish brown. In 2002, one of its cultivars was even named the Urban Tree of the Year by the Society of Municipal Arborists. Develops a cinnamon-colored bark that curls and peels (once mature). The river birch is a large deciduous tree, typically growing to 40 to 70 feet tall, but may grow as high as 90 feet. ‘Summer Cascade’ (PP15,105) – This is a newer weeping form of river birch from NC, and has a unique pendulous growing habit. Birch trees, in the wild, grow best in cool, moist soils and have shallow root systems. Birch trees are renowned for their beautiful bark, and Heritage® River Birch is no exception. River birch is a deciduous medium to large-sized native tree. Mature size is around 40' tall x 30' wide. It grows best in plant hardiness USDA hardiness zones 4-9. Mature size is around 40' tall x 30' wide. The flowers are unisexual, borne in separate male and female catkins on the same tree. This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. One aphid causes the leaves to crinkle in the spring. River birch (Betula nigra) foliage. The species grows as far south as USDA Zone 9. River birch is a fast-growing, deciduous semi-aquatic tree that reaches between 50 and 90 feet in height. The catkins of the River Birch are used by redpolls and pine siskins. 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. It is a hybrid of. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. City Slicker® (‘Whit XXV’ PP16573) – The exfoliating bark reveals creamy white inner bark. Debbie Shaughnessy, Former HGIC Information Specialist, Clemson UniversityBob Polomski, PhD, Extension Consumer Horticulturist, Clemson University, Joey Williamson, PhD, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. Heritage Birch tree (Betula nigra 'Cully') grows very fast to provide airy, breezy shade for you and your family. River birches may grow up to 90 feet tall, but the average height is 40 to 70 feet, and 25 to 60 feet wide. The small but plentiful seeds are appreciated by a wide range of songbirds. This is especially so since the introduction in 1979 and gradual recognition of the Heritage River birch cultivar (Betula nigra ‘Cully’), which culminated in it winning the 2002 Urban Tree of the Year award as determined by responses to an annual survey in arborist magazine City Trees. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at email@example.com or 1-888-656-9988. Periodic pruning is required to remove these branches; this can be done at any time of year. These lovely trees can get 40 to 70 feet tall with a spread of 40 to 60 feet at maturity, so keep that in mind when selecting a planting site. Buy this tree! River birch (Betula nigra) is a handsome tree that is native to the southeastern United States. Mature river birch (Betula nigra) in a partially shady landscape.Photo by Karen Russ, ©2015 HGIC, Clemson Extension. River birch is drought sensitive and does not like hot, dry summers. Betula nigra, the black birch, river birch or water birch, is a species of birch native to the Eastern United States from New Hampshire west to southern Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and west to Texas. As its name suggests, the river birch naturally grows along riverbanks. Can grow as either a single- or multi-stemmed tree. This is too big for the average yard, especially when you consider how close to the house lots of people mistakenly plant it. It causes no lasting damage. Works well for holding stream banks and keeping erosion in check. Note: Chemical control of diseases and insects on large trees is usually not feasible since adequate coverage of the foliage with a pesticide cannot be achieved. Yields a large number of tiny nutlets after female catkins mature, typically in May and June. Average Dried Weight: 37 lbs/ft 3 (590 kg/m 3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC):.49, .59. However, they typically occur late in the season and most are not significantly detrimental. These trees are great candidates for up-lighting. This species requires full sun to partial shade and tolerates high temperatures. (Thuricide) or spinosad are the safer products to use for webworm control. Produces brown and green catkins in April and May. Planting this fast-growing tree at one or more corners of your home is a classic way to frame your house and soften its edge s. Landscape lighting adds extra drama at night. 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). The river birch can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–9. Average Size at Maturity: Quickly reaches 40 to 60 ft. tall and wide; 70 ft. tall in ideal conditions. Keep this in mind when growing and caring for your container birch tree and it will thrive. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Though they do best in moist conditions, they tolerate drier soil better than other birch trees do. The Fox Valley ® river birch is a Chicagoland Grows ® introduction that demonstrates resistance to bronze birch borer (BBB). ‘Shiloh Splash’ (PP16362) – This is a variegated leaf cultivar of river birch with green foliage edged in creamy white. The river birch grows well in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils. It will grow 2 feet a year, and even 3 feet a year in warmer areas, so it rapidly matures into an attractive specimen that will grow from zone 4 through zone 9. The lower branches droop on older trees. Dwarf varieties may grow a bit slower, taking 10 years or so to reach 10 feet. River birch should not be planted close to the house as a foundation plant because of root growth toward the foundation and the drop of leaves into gutters. 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. Unlike other kinds of birch tree, the fruits of the River Birch mature in the spring following flowering. The bark of a mature birch is ridged and deepens to dark brown. Growing River Birch Trees in the Landscape It grows to 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed. Photo by Karen Russ, ©2015 HGIC, Clemson Extension. A full sun or part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in average, wet soils. Photo by Karen Russ, ©2006 HGIC, Clemson Extension. River Birch is a semi-aquatic plant and is a landscape tree due to its rich colours and appealing drooping branches. Trees typically live 50 -75 years. The river birch grows to a height of 40–70' and a spread of 40–60' at maturity. About River Birch Tree... River Birch trees grow quickly to a maximum height of 40 to 60 feet tall. Various leaf miners and aphids may infest it, but these problems are unimportant. 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. Because this cultivar has much less heat tolerance, it should only be considered for use in the higher elevations of the upper counties of SC. Adaptable and heat tolerant, this river birch will grow in a wide range of situations, including semi-aquatic conditions, but performs best in moist, slightly acidic soils. The foliage is eaten by deer and other browsers. The trunk typically grows about 2 feet in diameter but occasionally will be much wider. Common Name(s): River Birch. The bark exfoliates on younger trees and opens to a lighter, salmon-colored trunk. These trees are great candidates for up-lighting. The river birch is a large deciduous tree, typically growing to 40 to 70 feet tall, but may grow as high as 90 feet. Introduction To River Birch Tree. The trunk of this tree often is short, branching into several large limbs that grow upward. Young trees can add 3 or 4 feet in a single season! The River Birch (Betula nigra) is the most planted Birch in the United States and the best one for hot climates. Distribution: Eastern United States. However, pruning healthy branches should be done in the summer to provide adequate time for cuts to heal, because late season pruning will result in spring “bleeding”. It is considered the most widely adapted of all the birches, and hardy throughout South Carolina. B. nigra commonly occurs in floodplains and swamps. But as a landscape tree, it can be planted almost anywhere in the U.S. The Betula Nigra River Birch has a stunning yellow-golden color in the fall, and produces flowers in the spring and winter, and smaller, darker flowers in the summer. Habitat: Found in bottomland areas and along streams in eastern Iowa. Once the root system establishes, this giant will become an excellent shade tree. It tends to be short-lived (30 to 40 years) on many urban sites, possibly due to a shortage of water in restricted areas. Although the river birch thrives in wet areas, it does not require excessive amounts of water. This shade tree has highly symmetrical branching and … This tree grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13" to more than 24" per year. Heritage® — glossy green foliage, oval growth habit, 50 feet tall and 35 feet wide at maturity The River Birch is deciduous and often grows into a multi-trunked tree. Hardiness: Zones 3 through 9 Growth Rate: Moderate to Rapid Heritage is a cultivar of a native River Birch tree with exquisite, peeling, exfoliating bark that is … Birches are considered “bleeders”, avoid pruning in late spring before leaves emerge. This cultivar from Oklahoma grows to 30 to 40 feet tall and 20 to 25 feet wide. It should not be planted in high-use areas such as driveways, walks and patios, as dead branches tend to be messy. ‘Little King’ river birch (Betula nigra). River birch wood was once used for ox yokes, wooden shoes and other products around the farm. Prompt sprays of B.t. Betula nigra, the river birch, is a very common shade tree in the Midwest. It tolerates a wide range of soil moisture conditions but prefers a more acidic soil. It's world famous for its silky, smooth, light-tan bark that peels and exfoliates to reveal tantalizing glimpses of beautiful salmon-pink and cinnamon brown-colored patches beneath. Prune river birch trees at the end of spring for dead, diseased or crossed branches. Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. Copyright © 2021 Clemson UniversityClemson Cooperative Extension | 103 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634864-986-4310 | Contact UsHGIC@clemson.edu, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Centipedegrass Yearly Maintenance Program, Heritage® (‘Cully’ PP4409) – This is the most prominent of all the cultivars. It requires acidic soils, and may suffer from iron deficiency if pH levels are 6.5 or higher. It will tolerate moderate flooding as well as some drought. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. Photo by Karen Russ, ©2015 HGIC, Clemson Extension. Lore Betula nigra 'Little King' reportedly does not produce catkins (flowers) as most birch trees do. May be more cold and heat tolerant than other cultivars. The average tree spread may be as much as 40 to 60 feet. A multi-trunk specimen is more handsome than single-trunk trees. It is a dense, compact tree with glossy green leaves and exfoliating bark. It is considered more heat and drought tolerant than the species. River Birch Care. If control is necessary, always spray in the early evening. Birch trees are relatively free of pests and diseases. The river birch has not yet reached the popularity of many maples and oaks, but it is well on its way. The exposed inner bark is gray-brown to cinnamon-brown to reddish brown. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. The species is valued for its relatively rapid growth, tolerance of wetness and some drought, unique curling bark, spreading limbs, and relative resistance to birch borer. The exfoliating bark reveals inner bark that is creamy white. These roots will probably not crack or break concrete, but can easily find tiny cracks and hasten the process. View Map. It is one of the few heat-tolerant birches in a family of mostly cold-weather trees which do not thrive in USDA Zone 6 and up. And in Grumpy's opinion, the bigger a river birch gets, the less attractive it … River birch (Betula nigra) trunk with exfoliating bark. River birches are not particularly long-lived trees, however. 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