Fox Valley® River Birch Tree
Fox Valley® River Birch Leaf
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Fox Valley® River Birch Tree
Fox Valley® River Birch Leaf

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-9
  • Spacing: 12-15'
  • Exposure: Sun/Part Shade
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Fox Valley® River Birch

Betula nigra 'Fox Valley'
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How large is this tree? View the Size Guide.

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Fox Valley® Dwarf River Birch is a pint-sized cutie unlike any Birch tree you’ve ever seen.  Growing only 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide after 15 years, this rare but easy-to-grow specimen tree fits into any landscape, large or small.  Plant it in a small island bed in your front yard, in your entryway garden, near your back patio, or in the border along your property line.  You can even plant Fox Valley (a.k.a. ‘Little King’) in that low spot in your yard to soak up extra water, though this adaptable tree doesn’t need wet soil to thrive.  Plus, it has all the assets of the “big boy River Birches—flaky, peaches-and-cream bark, golden fall color, and excellent disease resistance!

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-9
  • Spacing: 12-15'
  • Exposure: Sun/Part Shade
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

The Story

Fox Valley® traces its origins back to the late 1970s, when it appeared in the nursery of Jim King of Oswego, Illinois.  However, the tree remained a well-kept secret for many years.  In 1991, the plant introduction group Chicagoland Grows® finally got the word out about this great little tree.  At last—a River Birch for the small property!  It was an immediate hit, and continues to be a popular choice for homeowners looking for a compact specimen with year-round appeal.  You may also find this tree listed as ‘Little King.’

The Details

Planting this foxy specimen will bring you some attention! Fox Valley River Birch is a smaller Birch that is low maintenance and very adaptable to various soil conditions. Dark green leaves turn brilliant yellow in fall. Brown male catkins and green female catkins appear in spring. The best part? The classic exfoliating bark appears at an early age. Plant them in groupings in large lawns; in borders or in damp areas along ponds and streams.

How to Grow

Over time, Fox Valley® develops into a mushroom-shaped tree with a dense canopy.  You may want to thin some of the branches to give the tree a more graceful habit.  Pruning is best done in summer, as cuts will “bleed” when the sap is flowing.  Bleeding doesn’t really harm the tree, but it looks quite distressing.  Prune out no more than 15 to 20 percent of the canopy at one time.  Fox Valley® is otherwise as easy to grow as any River Birch—that is, a piece of cake!

More Info

Cold Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 4
Heat Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 9
Exposure Sun/Part Shade
Avg Mature Height 15'
Avg Mature Width 15'
Spacing 12-15'
Growth Rate Slow
Leaf Color Green
Fall Leaf Color Yellow
Cary Award Winner Yes
PA Gold Medal Award No
Attractive Bark Yes
Attracts Birds Yes
Attracts Butterflies Yes
Attracts Hummingbirds No
Attracts Pollinators No
Deer Resistant Yes
Drought Tolerant No
Dry, Poor Soils No
Edible Fruit No
Fragrant No
Groundcover No
Hedge/Windbreak Yes
Native Yes
Salt Tolerance/Seashore Yes
Seasonal Cut Branches No
Shade Tolerance Yes
Showy Flowers No
Specimen Yes
Urban Conditions Yes
Utility Line Trees Yes
Wet Moist Soils Yes
Winter Interest Yes
Woodland Garden Yes
Decor/Craft Use No

Size Guide

Size Guide Scale


Size: A

Size A

Size: B

Size B

This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.

Size A Trees:

This slow growing dwarf Birch is about 2-3' tall when shipped depending on the time of year. One person can handle our #7 to #8 tree container, but it's always easier with two!

Size B Trees:

3-4' Tall grown in our #15 tree container this tree is a fun dwarf birch tree that you will enjoy for years to come.

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Fox Valley® River Birch Tree
Fox Valley® River Birch Leaf