River Birch

Betula nigra

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Full Retail Price: $195 (Why the difference?)

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This beautiful birch has striking exfoliating bark and glossy green foliage.

Growing Conditions:
Performs well in urban soils. In the wild, this tree is found along stream banks and wetter areas. As the species occurs predominately in flood plains and along stream banks, it is described as being moderately tolerant of flooding. Saplings were observed to survive up to 30 days of continuous flooding in some regions. While the species is tolerant of excessive water, it is intolerant of shade. Seeds will not germinate without a large amount of direct sunlight.

Exfoliating bark makes a great street tree; also useful along streams or in wetter areas.

60' at maturity

35' at maturity

Oval when young, rounded (irregular) when mature.


Lustrous green in summer, yellow in fall. Diamond-shaped leaves with a wedge-shaped base.

Light brown (often reddish) bark exfoliating into papery plates, exposing inner bark layers. Wide variation in bark color among trees. Young trunk and branches have thin, shiny red-brown bark. Shaggy appearance as tree ages. Not the white barked birch tre

More Information:
Native to low-lying, occasionally flooded areas in the Eastern US. In states in which mining is prevalent, the river birch is often used for reclamation and erosion control, as it is well suited for soils that are too acidic for other species of hardwoods. In West Virginia, they have been found to establish within mine refuge sites after being blown from neighboring areas.