River Birch Tree Overview
River Birch tree (Betula nigra) is a medium sized deciduous tree, typically growing 30 to 40 ft tall. With an attractive bark that is salmon pink to red-brown in color it’s a sight to behold as it peels or scales to reveal the inner bark. River Birch tree is a great choice as an ornamental tree as it can be planted in many different climates and soil conditions across North America. It is tolerant of different soil types, but grows especially well in wet sites. It is typically used to help reduce stream bank erosion.
A few of the great benefits of the River Birch include its resistance to the bronze birch borer and fast growth. For fast growth, you can fertilize young trees in late winter before new growth begins. Prune the trees only during summer to avoid bleeding, which happens when the cut is done during the sap flowing. You can use the sap to make birch beer and vinegar.
- Uses: landscape, attractive bark, beautiful spring blossoms and fall color
- Size: Medium sized tree with height of 30 to 40 ft. and spread of 20-30 ft. when reach maturity
- Growth: Medium to fast growth rate (height can grow about 13-24″ each year)
- Sun Conditions: Best grown in full sun and partial shade. Best to get at least four hours of direct sun.
- Soil Conditions: Grows well in acidic, loamy, sandy, moist, well drained soil. Can tolerate some droughts as well as flooding.
- Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9
- Pests and diseases:
- Iron chlorosis in soil with high pH
- Aphids: susceptible
- Leaf miners: susceptible
- Leaf spots: susceptible
- Bronze birch borer: resistant
- Black walnut toxicity: tolerant