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They are wind and ice tolerant, adding to their value in the landscape. Family Betulaceae . Birches, including river birch, can be messy -- their male flowers are long, drooping catkins that drop through late spring and early summer. This is the only birch native to lowland areas of the southeastern US, and it is typically found in wet areas such as floodplains of rivers and streams. Their foliage attracts deer and other wildlife foraging for food, as well. Along with attractive yellow catkins, they emerge a vibrant lime green, heralding the start of spring, and darken as the season progresses. Betula pendula, commonly called silver birch or European white birch, is a graceful medium-sized tree with slender pendulous branches and attractive bark. Female catkin of river birch. Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) produces separate male and female flowers on the same tree, both in the form of catkins (cylindrical clusters of flowers).The catkins form in the fall and overwinter in a dormant state. Grows best in medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Look for young twigs that are still attached to the tree or have very recently fallen, perhaps on a live branch that broke off in a wind storm. Native to the swamps and river banks of NE America, Betula nigra grows well on wet ground. It can be planted as a stately, single specimen or in groups to … Growth Habit. Growing river birch . While thousands of seeds can be produced from a single tree, few will germinate. River birch leaves and female catkin in fall. The small but plentiful seeds are appreciated by a wide range of songbirds. Female flowers: erect catkins ½- to 1½-inch tall. Consider using soaker hoses and bark mulches to keep the root zones cool and moist. How to Grow Birch Trees. There are many varieties of birch trees – paper, gray, yellow, river, and white birch – though the paper birch is perhaps the most distinctive, with its curling white bark. Scientific Name Genus: Betula. Male catkins of River Birch in Montgomery Co., Maryland (12/28/2014). METHOD OF PREPARATION: Like all the other birches. History/Lore. River Birch in Howard Co., Maryland (1/25/2017). The flowers appear from April to May. Also, a great enticement to songbirds are their small but plentiful seeds. Catkins on a river birch are 1.5 inches long. Depending on their cultivation, river birch trees grow either as single- or multi-stemmed trees. River birch (Betula nigra): Sometimes called black birch, this species has a much darker trunk than the paper birch, but still has the characteristic flaky surface. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding yellow in the fall. River Birch catkins in Harford Co., Maryland (4/26/2018). The foliage is eaten by deer and other browsers. Better disease and insect resistance than other birch species; also very resistant to bronze birch borer. Adapts well to heavy clay soils of Missouri and will tolerate poor drainage. Photo by Robert Ferraro. It often has multiple trunks. The peeling brown bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest. In the spring they mature as the leaves develop, becoming pendulous. River birch also has a good autumn colour in shades of buttery yellow. It also has a more intriguing, salmon-colored, bark. Birch twigs, leaves, and catkins. 'Heritage' is one of the most common varieties that grows faster, has larger, glossier leaves, and is more disease resistant than the straight species. Smooth in young trees, the bark gets rugged at the base in older trees. Oval to pyramidal when young becoming rounded to irregular with age. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The small but plentiful seeds are appreciated by a wide range of songbirds. Photo by Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org. Leaves are alternate, simple, somewhat triangular to egg-shaped, 1½–3½ inches long, 1–2 inches wide; margins densely toothed; upper surface shiny dark green, lower surface whitish, very hairy. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. Single or multistem. Identification Notes. Medium to fast growth rate. Family Name: Betulaceae. Vigorous and fast growing, this birch has a large, pyramidal, upright habit and bears diamond-shaped, glossy green leaves with silvery undersides, which turn yellow in fall. Male catkins are long and yellow-brown in colour, and hang in groups of two to four at the tips of shoots, like lambs' tails. Salmon-pink, smooth and shiny at first, the bark flakes and curls in cinnamon-brown to blackish sheets. Birch are available as single trunk trees or those with multi-trunks as clumps. Birch is a deciduous tree that reaches between 10 and 30 meters high, it is generally grown as an ornamental species for parks and gardens. Female catkins are smaller, short, bright green and erect. Betula occidentalis, the water birch or red birch, is a species of birch native to western North America, in Canada from Yukon east to western Ontario and southwards, and in the United States from eastern Washington east to western North Dakota, [citation needed] and south to eastern California, northern Arizona and northern New Mexico, and southwestern Alaska. Genus Betula can be deciduous trees or shrubs, usually colouring well in autumn and often with striking white, pink, or peeling brown bark; separate male and female catkins open before or with the leaves in spring . 40-70' tall, 40-60' wide. River Birch has dark green foliage throughout the season. History/Lore River birch wood was once used for ox yokes, wooden shoes and other products around the farm. zone 4; in the wild, limited to moist areas and is most commonly found along stream banks and areas that flood; Habit and Form . Male flowers pendulous catkins, female flowers short, erect catkins, TIME OF YEAR: Different parts different times of the year. The catkins of the River Birch are used by redpolls and pine siskins. River Birch Betula nigra Birch family (Betulaceae) Description: This tree is 40-90' at maturity, often forming a trunk that divides early and developing an irregular crown. The trees are tolerant of excessive water but require full sun for proper growth. Foliage turns golden in fall. River birch put out catkins in the spring which can remain until autumn, adding to the splendor of its yellow fall color. The foliage is eaten by deer and other browsers. Paper Birch Catkins: Winged Nutlets & Bracts Dispersing. The roots of River Birch are far reaching but are non-invasive. Native Habitat . The pointy leaves turn an outstanding yellow in the fall. River Birch in Howard Co., Maryland (1/25/2017). Prefers moist, acidic, fertile soils including semi-aquatic conditions, but also tolerates drier soils. Golden brown on twigs and young branches, the bark matures to silvery white with black clefts. River birch is a medium-sized tree with an irregular, broad, spreading crown. Live twigs, fresh leaves, and even pollen catkins can be foraged from birches to make a peppery, minty tea rich in vitamin C. Your best bet for birch tea during the colder months is to forage twigs. They are self-fertilizing and require only an individual specimen to produce seed. River Birch features subtle chartreuse catkins in early spring. Dried River Birch Catkins . River Birch in Montgomery Co., Maryland (3/31/2020). It is the only Birch found a low altitudes in the southeastern United States. Dark green foliage turns a beautiful buttery yellow in the fall. Photo by Jane Hill. It features subtle chartreuse catkins in early spring. Advertisement With a choice of 35 species globally, and many cultivars, there are options for both wet and dry soils. This species is resistant to bronze birch borer (BBB). The catkins of the River Birch are used by redpolls and pine siskins. Birches make great trees for a medium-sized garden, With their attractive bark, light canopy and elegant catkins, birches make great trees for a medium-sized garden. Betula nigra, or River Birch, is a deciduous, upright, flowering tree with cinnamon brown, exfoliating bark and yellow fall foliage that tends to drop off the tree quickly. River birches are also resistant to bronze birch borer; other pest may cause minimal damage. River Birch (Betula nigra) Habitat. Attractive salmon-pink to reddish-brown bark exfoliates to reveal lighter inner bark. Root System Of River Birch Tree. River birch is a popular, fast-growing native tree for the home landscape. My father now uses, at his house in Oklahoma City, the rolled polymer gutter guards you unwind and fit into the gutters to block leaves. catkins of small nutlets ; Bark. River Birch Catkins . The male and female flowers are produced individually in the form of Catkins and are produced around April and May. Leaves are bright and shiny green in spring and summer. Birch Tree Catkins, White Birch Catkins Showing Good Year, we have many images of Birch Trees River birch is perhaps the most culturally adaptable and heat tolerant of the birches. It is a medium-sized tree often cultivated as an ornamental because of its shaggy, brownish, papery bark that peels in layers. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. River birches are monoecious (hermaphidilic) trees with brown hanging male catkins and green female flowers (erect catkins) that are produced in spring months April-May. The trunk bark of older mature trees is gray-brown and scaly, exfoliating only slightly, while the trunk bark of young trees exfoliates extensively, becoming ragged with patches of reddish brown, dull orange, or pinkish tan. River birch tree catkins draw such songbirds as redpolls and pine siskins. It is the only native birch that does well in low elevations of the south. Tiny monoecious (male and female) flowers appear in early spring in separate catkins on the same tree. The many varieties of river birch allow you to get the characteristics you prefer. River birch can grow as high as 90 feet. ENVIRONMENT: Floodplains and wooded stream banks. On this occasion we will not dedicate the article to talk in general about birch tree, but we will focus on specifically covering two of the most popular varieties, the River Birch and the Silver Birch. catkins ; male flowers are 2" to 3" in bloom, 0.75" prior to bloom ; female flowers are 1" to 1.5" long ; male catkins usually in 3's ; Fruit . eastern US; zones 4-9. This habit might not please neighbors. Landscape Attributes. Leaves. River Birch. Extra Information. The River Birch is a large tree which is a welcome inclusion in planting schemes in which tree in wet or boggy ground when choice may otherwise be limited to utility trees with less ornamental qualities. River birches are available in single stem or the more attractive multi-stem forms. not the best birch for fall color ; Flowers. Silver birch is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers (catkins) are found on the same tree, from April to May. 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