River Birch (Clump)

Betula nigra

An outstanding specimen with uniquely textured, peeling, buff-colored bark on larger limbs and trunks. Excellent for use as a focal point or shade tree in a larger landscape, grown as a clump of several trunks. This American native species is one of the most adaptable and heat tolerant of the birches. Thrives in moist areas. Deciduous.
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Full sun

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


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Botanical PronunciationBET-ew-luh NY-gruh
LoreNative Americans within its range used preparations of leaves from this tree to relieve gastrointestinal and urinary disorders.
Average Size at MaturityQuickly reaches 40 to 60 ft. tall and wide; 70 ft. tall in ideal conditions.
Bloom TimeInconspicuous; prized for foliage and bark.
Design IdeasThis form of river birch makes a fine hedge material for wetland sites to block large scale views of undesirable land uses. Works the other way as a privacy screen. May be used for windbreak or even pollarded for a ready supply of weaving materials. Single plants provide a fast growing mass of foliage to direct the eye. Provides ideal wildlife cover adjacent to waterways both natural and man made.
Deciduous/ EvergreenDeciduous
Flower ColorYellow
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleAsian/Zen, Contemporary, Cottage, Rustic
Growth HabitBushy
Growth RateFast
Landscape UseErosion Control, Firescaping/Firewise, Specimen, Very Wet Areas, Water Garden, Windbreak, Woodland Garden, Shade Tree, Coastal Exposure, Wildlife Garden
Light NeedsFull sun
Soil NeedsTree & Shrub Food
Special FeatureAttractive Bark, Extreme Cold Hardiness, Fall Color, Naturalizes Well, North American Native Selection, Tolerates Acidic Soil, Tolerates Wet Soils, Year-round Interest, Fast Growing, Bird Friendly, Tolerates Road Salt
Water NeedsHigh
Watering NeedsWater regularly to maintain wet or evenly moist soil - weekly or more.
Companion PlantsChokeberry (Aronia); Variegated Sweet Flag (Acorus); Japanese Iris (Iris ensata); Swamp Jessamine (Gelsemium rankinii); Dappled Willow (Salix integra); Bald Cypress (Taxodium distictum)

Thrives in deep, loamy, moist but well-drained soil amended with sand or gravel, but highly adaptable. Water deeply, regularly in first few growing seasons to establish root system; once established tolerates mild drought, but reaches maximum growth in rich, fertile, evenly moist soils. Fertilize in early spring. Seldom requires pruning.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 4-7

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

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