Fox Valley® Dwarf River Birch

Betula nigra 'Little King'

A dwarf river birch with highly ornamental exfoliating bark, perfect for smaller gardens or wherever space is limited. Excellent pest and disease resistance, and heat tolerance. Ideal in minimal-care landscapes, where the compact, low-branching form works as an accent or in groups to create a natural hedge or screen. Deciduous.
There are very few rules in gardening, but perhaps the most important one is to work within your zone. Choosing plants that grow and thrive in your particular climate is the very first step toward having a beautiful garden . Learn More

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Full sun, Partial sun

Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often.


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Botanical PronunciationBET-ew-luh NY-gruh
LoreBetula nigra 'Little King' reportedly does not produce catkins (flowers) as most birch trees do.
Average Size at MaturityModerate growing; reaches 8 to 10 ft. tall and wide in 10 years.
Bloom TimeInconspicuous; prized for foliage and bark.
Design IdeasPlant this highly useful small, broad tree where a miniature form of this widely popular landscape tree is desired. Situate where the highly textured bark character can be viewed, exhibiting colorful patterns of cinnamon-red and pale salmon on trunks and main branches.
Deciduous/ EvergreenDeciduous
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleAsian/Zen, Rustic
Growth HabitRounded
Growth RateModerate
Landscape UseHedge, Mass Planting, Privacy Screen, Specimen, Very Wet Areas, Woodland Garden
Light NeedsFull sun, Partial sun
Special FeatureAttractive Bark, Dwarf Plant, Easy Care, Extreme Cold Hardiness, Fall Color, Improved Disease Resistance, Improved Pest and Disease Resistance, Tolerates Wet Soils, Year-round Interest
Water NeedsModerate
Watering NeedsWater regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often.
Companion PlantsHydrangea (Hydrangea); Japanese Spurge (Pachysandra); Sweet Flag (Acorus); Sweetspire (Itea); Clethra (Clethra); Artemisia (Artemisia)

Thrives in deep, loamy, slightly acidic, moist but well-drained soil amended with sand or gravel, but highly adaptable. Water deeply, regularly during the first few growing seasons to establish an extensive root system; once established, maintain evenly moist soil. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 4-10

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

Your climate may be too cold for this plant