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Betula nigra

river birch

River birch grows all the way from southern New Hampshire to the Texas Gulf Coast. The tree is very heat-tolerant and reaches its maximum size in rich alluvial soils of the lower Mississippi Valley. River birch is well named as it loves riparian zones and adapts well to wet sites. The tree's wood has very little commercial value but river birch is extremely popular as an ornamental and was selected the Urban Tree of the Year in 2002.

River birch plate River birch - Birmingham Botanical Gardens River birch leaf - Paul Wray, ForestryImages.org
Photos Used by Permission: Steve Nix and Paul Wray, ForestryImages.org

Start with the Tree Finder if you are not sure what kind of tree you have!

River Birch - Urban Tree of the Year
(courtesy About Forestry)

River Birch Habitat and Culture
(silvics courtesy of USFS)

From Virginia Tech w/Photos
(Big List courtesy of VT Dendrology)

North American Timber Types
(courtesy About Forestry)

The Great American Hardwood Forest
(courtesy About Forestry)

Recent Champion: 90' height, 100' spread, 188" circumf., Lawrence County, Tennessee
National Register of Big Trees

River Birch Images
(courtesy of ForestryImages.org)

Range Map
-The native range of river birch, USFS.
-The native range of river birch, USFS.

Quick Stats
Common Names: water birch, black birch
Habitat: Found along rivers and streams
Description: It is the only birch whose range includes the southeastern coastal plain and is also the only spring-fruiting birch
Uses: Although the wood has limited usefulness, the tree's beauty makes it an important ornamental

Image
(images courtesy of Steve Nix and About.com)

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