Previous or Next Tree Page Alphabetically

Botanical Name: Betula nigra

Common Name: River Birch
Origin: E. North America
Location: CNW, KN

Notable Feature: The young trunk and branches of River Birch have thin, shiny red-brown bark.  With age it develops beautiful, showy, creamy coral-tan bark that exfoliates in large, thin, papery sheets.

Habit: A deciduous, medium-sized tree, 50 to 70 feet in height, typically growing as a multi-stemmed plant.  The bark is smooth on young trees, salmon- to rust-colored.  As the tree matures it develops papery scales that exfoliate horizontally exposing creamy white to orange brown and pinkish brown colorations.

Flower: Monoecious – both male and female catkins form on the same tree in mid-spring, with the pendulous, male flowers, up to about 3” long, and the upright, female catkins, ¼ to ½” long.

Fruit: Cone-like, 1 to 1 ½” long, with hairy scales, reddish brown, containing many tiny, 3-winged seeds which ripen and break apart in the fall.

Foliage: Alternate, simple leaves with doubly serrated margins are lustrous medium or dark green in color.  The leaves turn yellow in the fall and drop quickly.

Interesting Fact: Native Americans used the boiled sap as a sweetener similar to maple syrup, and the inner bark as a survival food.  River Birch is found growing from southern New England to Florida and west to Minnesota and Kansas in moist areas along stream banks.

Previous or Next Tree Page Alphabetically

ArbNet Accredited Arboretum Level 1

Publish modules to the "offcanvs" position.