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River Birch

Betula nigra

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Photo Credit: John Ruter, University of Georgia,

The river birch is naturally found in floodplains making it well adapted to harsh urban settings. It has distinctive bark that peels in large flat strips to reveal colors from cream to reddish-brown. Long catkins (the bundle of seeds) full of tiny flowers hang from the tree in the spring and the leaves turn bright yellow in the fall. This is one of the shortest-lived and smallest of the shade trees.

 Tree Height 
 Mature Crown Spread 
Tree Height
40-70 FT
Crown Width
25-50 FT
Per Year
1-2+ FT

View Fact Sheet for River Birch