River Birch / Betula nigra
Family: Birch / Betulaceae
Characteristics: River Birch is a deciduous tree having medium texture and a fast growth rate. In youth it tends to have an oval shape with somewhat drooping branches and is often multi-stemmed. Young trees have a handsome, exfoliating, reddish-brown bark that ages to a dark gray-brown color.
Landscape uses: Use River Birch as a shade or specimen tree, particularly in groupings. It looks particularly nice as a multi-stemmed form. A very rapid grower, it is one of the most popular trees for Georgia conditions, adaptable to most landscape sites. It requires adequate moisture during dry weather and prefers acid soils. Iron chlorosis may be a problem in high pH soils. Leaves are occasionally deformed by infestations of aphids. Also affected by webworms.
Size: 40 to 80 feet tall with a width of 40 to 65 feet
Zones: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Habitat: Moist, well-drained soils, the berm area on riverbanks and streams, swamps and flood plains.
Native to: Massachusetts to Florida, west to Minnesota and Kansas.
Comments: Several cultivars are available. It is an early succession tree needing sun for establishment.