River Birch (Betula nigra)

  • Broadleafed
  • Deciduous

River birch (black birch, water birch) is native to the U.S. and commonly found in moist areas, such as along rivers or streams or even areas that flood regularly. Native Americans used the boiled sap of river birch as a sweetener and its inner bark as a survival food.

  • Alternate Common Name: Black birch; red birch; water birch
  • Average Height: The River birch tree typically grows to 50 to 70 feet tall.
  • Average Width: River birch canopies are typically around 20 feet wide.
  • Leaf Description: Alternate, simple leaves. Diamond shaped with a doubly serrate margin.
  • Bark Description: River birch bark has a medium amount of texture. Bark color is creamy orange. Can develop ridges in a somewhat plate-like fashion.
  • Twig Description: Shiny red bark on the smaller branches.
  • Flowering: Male flowers are 2-3 inches when in bloom. Female flowers are typically half that size.
  • Needle or Broadleaf: Broadleafed
  • Comments: River birch trees are limited to moist areas and most commonly found along rivers or streams or even areas that flood regularly.

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