Betula nigra (the river birch)

Betula nigra (the river birch)

Habitat:

Usually found in moist well-drained soils in rich woodland environments.

Distribution:

The primary range of river birch is the southeastern quarter of the United States from eastern Texas and southeastern Iowa to Virginia and northern Florida.

Cultivation:

This tree prefers full or partial sun and moist conditions. It tolerates various kinds of soil, including those containing loam, clay, gravel, and silt. A very acid soil is tolerated surprisingly well, while very alkaline soil (pH above 7) should be avoided. In comparison to the white-trunked members of the birch family (Betulaceae), the river birch has long been ignored, though it is a graceful tree, with a warm red bark that exfoliates to pink-white. It is also adaptable to both flood and drought and is more disease-resistant and heat tolerant than any other birch.

Background information:

Nigra is in reference to the dark stems of new growth.

Availability:

Not widely available. Flemings has a couple of cultivars. Yamina, Maple Grove and Logans are showing it on there current list.