As its name suggests, the river birch naturally grows along riverbanks. But as a landscape tree, it can be planted almost anywhere in the U.S. The species is valued for its relatively rapid growth, tolerance of wetness and some drought, unique curling bark, spreading limbs, and relative resistance to birch borer.
- Provides brilliant yellow fall color
- Develops a cinnamon-colored bark that curls and peels (once mature)
- Is the most borer-resistant birch
- Will be delivered at a height of 3’–4′ for bare-root; a height of 1 1/2′ – 3 1/3′ for 4″ pot or 1-gallon pot
- The River Birch grows in zones 4-9
- Mature Height: 40’–70′
- Mature Spread: 40’–60′
- Growth Rate: Medium to Fast
- Shape: Oval
- Sun Preference: Full Sun, Partial Shade
- Soil Preference: Acidic, Clay, Drought-tolerant, Loamy, Moist, Sandy, Well-drained, Wet
- Wildlife Value: The catkins of the River Birch are used by redpolls and pine siskins. The foliage is eaten by deer and other browsers. The small but plentiful seeds are appreciated by a wide range of songbirds.
River birch wood was once used for ox yokes, wooden shoes and other products around the farm. But they were rather distained by loggers as knotty and spindly, therefore often left to grow along the river bank to control erosion.