Betula nigra

River Birch

The River Birch is quite different from other birches because of its arching spreading shape.  This creates a great canopy tree, so it will work quite well as a single specimen tree on a lawn or next to a stream as part of a planting scheme.  As the name suggests it likes to be near water, but it also grows well away from it. The main attraction is the peeling bark – a beautiful creamy brown when the new bark is revealed.


 Flowers:  Yellow catkins.

Fruit: Inconspicuous.

Bark:  Young stems black (nigra). Older bark cinnamon-brown, peeling in curly strips.

Leaves:  Diamond shaped, dull green early in season, later shiny green with velvety hairs.

Autumm colour:  Pale yellow.

Ultimate height:  15m.

Uses:  Winter interest with the bark, and as a specimen canopy tree in the middle of the lawn.

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