Betula nigra

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River Birch


Plant Specifics

Size:50-80 ft tall by to 40 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Green,NA
Fruit Color:NA
Phenology:Deciduous. Inconspicuos blooms in spring. Moderately long-lived.
Noted for:Interesting bark, Fall color


Recommended Uses:Specimen plant located where the salmon-colored shaggy bark can be seen. Use for shoreline erosion control. Has been used for mine reclamation due to its tolerance of acidic soils.
Considerations:Although native to floodplains, it is not tolerant of extended periods of flooding.
Propagation:Seed. Naturally transported by wind and water.
Availability:Native nurseries, Quality nurseries
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Ph 6.5 and lower



Birds and small mammals consume seed. 


Larval host for Mourning Cloak and Dreamy Duskywing butterflies

Native Habitats:River floodplains

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:Cut as pulpwood. Has been used for cabinetry where fine or strong wood is not needed.
General Comments:Noted for its shaggy, peeling salmon-colored bark. The natural form is a single-trunked tree, but multi-trunked cultivars are common. Southernmost birch in the US.