Scientific Name: Betula nigra
Common Name: river birch
Family Name: Betulaceae
Origin: Canada - eastern, U.S. - northeast
Hardiness Zone: Zone 4: (-34 to -29 °C)
Plant Type: Tree - deciduous
Mature Size: 15 - 22m x 10 - 15m (height x width)
Habit: Open, Twiggy, Upright
Form: Oval - vertical
Texture: Medium
Landscape Uses: Accent plant, Fall interest, Group or mass planting, Shade tree, Specimen plant, Wetland - bogs, Wildlife food, Winter interest
Exposure: Full sun, Part sun/part shade
Soil or Media: Bog, Well-drained
Leaves: Simple, Alternate, Soft flexible, Pinnate venation, Lustrous, Pubescent, Ovate, Rhomboidal, Double serrate
Flowers: Catkin (ament), Green-yellow, Apr-May
Fruit: Samara, Brown, Jun-Jul
Key ID Features:
Bark shaggy, peeling, red-brown; leaves alternate, rhombic-ovate, most blades 5-9cm long x 4-7cm wide, double serrate, most with 7 pairs of veins running parallel off the midrib, petioles 1-1.5cm long; catkins separate female (become cone-like, 3-lobe scales) and male (<8cm, yellow-brown), early spring. Winter ID: exfoliating bark, yellow leaves; lateral buds conical, 3-5mm long glabrous, diverging from twigs, red tinged, wintergreen smell; immature male catkins.