River Birch - single stem Tree
River Birch - single stem Leaf
River Birch - single stem Additional Product Shot 3286
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River Birch - single stem Tree
River Birch - single stem Leaf
River Birch - single stem Additional Product Shot 3286

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-9
  • Exposure: Full Sun - Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

River Birch - single stem

Betula nigra

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In creating your backyard bird sanctuary, start here. Trees are vital to that endeavor, and few trees have more to give to birds than River Birch. The seeds of this welcoming native shade tree feed countless songbirds, including chickadees, titmice, tanagers, cardinals, crossbills, sparrows, and Pine Siskins. Birds may nibble the buds and catkins (flowers), too. Insectivorous birds are not left out! It’s estimated that River Birch hosts an incredible 400-plus species of moth and butterfly caterpillars for their dining pleasure. River Birch is an obvious choice for your bird paradise—give it some serious consideration!

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-9
  • Exposure: Full Sun - Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Recommended by Our Growers

The Story

Birch Trees are the glory of our northern forests. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, their peeling, paper-white trunks gleam in the sunshine, painting a dazzling picture on even the coldest winter days. Unfortunately, these showy Birches struggle where summers are hot, often falling prey to damaging insects and diseases. For warmer zones, River Birch is a smarter option. This southeastern native offers fabulous, flaky bark, along with all the benefits to wildlife you expect from a Birch Tree—AND it is resistant to pests and disease!

The Details

Among the over 400 moths and butterflies that use River Birch as a host plant, one particularly endearing species stands out. The mourning cloak butterfly is a joy to see in early spring or even late winter. It overwinters as an adult (rare for butterflies), and it will usually be the first butterfly you’ll spot each year.

How to Grow

River Birch gets its name from its affinity for riverbanks in the wild, and it will likewise enjoy a wet site in your landscape, although normal conditions are fine, too. Never let the soil dry out completely, especially during the critical first couple of years of establishment. River Birch is otherwise a tough tree, and tolerates heavy clay soil, de-icing salts, and pollution. Plant it in full sun to part shade. Feed this fast grower annually with Bower & Branch Elements™ Fertilizer to promote a healthy balance of root growth with top growth. Prune in summer if necessary, as Birches tend to “bleed” sap profusely when cut at other times of the year.

More Info

Cold Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 4
Heat Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 9
Exposure Full Sun - Part Shade
Avg Mature Height 40-70'
Avg Mature Width 40-60'
Growth Rate Fast
Leaf Color Green
Fall Leaf Color Yellow
Flower Color Brown-Male, Green-Female
Flower Time Spring
Fruit Color N/A
Fruit Time N/A
Foliage Color Green
Bloom Time Spring
Cary Award Winner No
PA Gold Medal Award No
Attractive Bark Yes
Attracts Birds Yes
Attracts Butterflies No
Attracts Hummingbirds No
Attracts Pollinators No
Deer Resistant Yes
Drought Tolerant No
Dry, Poor Soils Yes
Edible Fruit No
Fragrant No
Groundcover No
Hedge/Windbreak No
Native Yes
Salt Tolerance/Seashore Yes
Seasonal Cut Branches No
Shade Tolerance Yes
Showy Flowers Yes
Specimen Yes
Urban Conditions Yes
Utility Line Trees No
Wet Moist Soils Yes
Winter Interest No
Woodland Garden No
Decor/Craft Use No

Size Guide

Size Guide Scale

Scale

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River Birch - single stem Tree
River Birch - single stem Leaf
River Birch - single stem Additional Product Shot 3286