River Birch

Betula nigra

Red Maple

The River Birch is an unusual birch tree with pale salmon-colored peeling bark. Feeling at home in a lawn with its dependable irrigation, it grows fast and will remind you of a White Birch with its fluttery leaves and interesting bark. But unlike the White Birch, it resists the pests that are killing our White Birches due to our hot summers.

In the fall the leaves turn golden yellow. The showy bark is interesting in all seasons and provides an attractive contrast with lawn and other plantings. Landscapers often highlight it with special landscape lighting.

River Birches require reliable medium-high level of summer irrigation, this is not the tree for a low irrigation landscape. It can grow in over-watered soils, but they will probably develop surface roots. To avoid surface roots, manage your lawn water so that the lawn is moist (like cake), but not not wet (like mud).

Description
Height: 40-70 feet
Spread: 35-45 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast

Irrigation needed: medium to high
Fall Color: golden yellow
Flowers: inconspicuous
Seeds/Fruit: inconspicuous

Planting Distances
Foundation: 20 feet
Drives/Patios: 6 feet
Fence: 6 feet
Not suitable for planting under high-voltage electric lines