In Dr. Mike Dirr's book Hardy Trees and Shrubs, Dr. Dirr suggests you plant a river birch for both beauty and hardiness. River birch is "perhaps the most heat resistant of all trees in North America" says Dr. Dirr and "this particular birch is even more spectacular without the leaves."
Betula nigra will weather the heat of summer just fine and grows from Massachusetts to Florida, west to Minnesota and Kansas. The tree can get leaf spot during extremely wet weather and will drop their leaves during severe drought. However, these conditions are completely survivable and should not influence your decision to plant an otherwise, perfect tree.
Photo by Steve Nix, Licensed to About.com