River Birch – Betula nigra – How to Grow River Birch Tree a Pest Resisent Birch Tree


River Birch Betula nigra This is a native american birch. It grows very well in the eastern half of the united states has a wide range all the way from basically the Mississippi River and… Illinois southeast into the
carolinas and north… even into Connecticut it’s native. It’s a great plant for the home landscape it’s a small tree it
will grow slowly over time to sixty feet… there have been trees as tall
as a hundred feet in the wild, but it’s generally much smaller than that. The River Birch, as its name implies… but is very tolerant, it it will
also grow in upland situations in… sort of dry ground. Where we’ve got this one growing here at
the gardens is basically at the top of a spring that comes out
of the ground here that i’m standing over you can see that
the ground is very wet there’s standing water that the honey bees are actually coming
to forage around. There’s a honey bee right now. There are several wonderful qualities
about river birch that make it worth growing the first one is it’s a native tree and it is resistant to the pests of
other birch like the white paper bark birch and the european paper bark birch all part all are susceptible to the
bronze birch borer a serious pest that bores into the tree and causes mortality. These are
resistant to the bronze birch borer, yet if you choose your variety correctly you
can get a wonderful almost white very light colored bark, and this exfoliating bark is a
natural part of the trees growth they call this exfoliating ’cause it
comes off of the tree and you can use this actually as a sort of paper. I guess you could harvest the berries
from a poke berry, make a little ink from that and write on the birch bark you’d have a native notepad. Another aspect of the plant is it has a nice
yellow fall color that stays active for maybe a
week to ten days in in late October early November. River Birch along with all the other
birches are in their own family, Betulacae the birch family. The first people’s used the sap from this
tree as a sweetener very similar to the the sugar maple
syrup now that we think of today they didn’t boil it down but the sap was used as a sweetener. The inner bark was also used for many purposes. It’s really too
much of a notty wood for much commercial use of the wood. You can grow river birch as a single
trunked specimen like we had here or as a multi trunk specimen. It’s great in their native woodland
garden. It likes partial shade but will tolerate full sun with plenty
of water. For fall and winter interest with the fall color and the wonderful light colored bark this is a wonderful native tree.
Resistant to many of the pests that the other Paperbarks succumb to. River Birch – Betula nigra

9 thoughts on “River Birch – Betula nigra – How to Grow River Birch Tree a Pest Resisent Birch Tree

  1. I love these trees….I want one in my front yard to replace trees that fell during a storm.

  2. 1.) How do I avoid my river birch tree from dying. I'm a novice with these things.
    2.) I want to prune my birch, can I cut a 6 inch diameter limb using a manual pole saw? What would happen if I only cut half way through the 6 inch limb, would it eventually die?

  3. I live on the very edge of a swamp in north florida. I bought one on a whim not too long ago. Plans are to plant it on the swamps edge to replace trees that were killed during hurricane michael.
    i look forward to growing it but I have yet to find info on whether or not it spreads or HOW it spreads. I wouldn't mind one bit if it took over the place…… it would be in full son but also certainly have plenty of water.

  4. That is a very poor specimen – shape (form) unbalanced & angle of trunk too strong and therefore could keel over in strong wind

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