News and Blog Articles
News and Blog Articles
For December’s Tree of the Month, we’re featuring the river birch, scientifically referred to as Betula nigra, also known colloquially as the water birch and the black birch. Like these names suggest, this beautiful tree naturally grows along river banks and other bodies of water, but can also be cultivated just about anywhere in the United States.
This hardiness, along with a rapid growth rate and an excellence at preventing erosion, makes them great for landscaping. While maples and oaks are generally the most popular choice when it comes to public landscaping, the river birch has risen in the ranks in the last decade or so.
In the wild, river birches are a long-lived tree, often seeing over 100 to 150 healthy years. Urban-cultivated river birches, on the other hand, rarely make it past 40. It’s not known why exactly domesticated river birches don’t live as long, but we do know that river birches naturally prefer to grow along bodies of water. River birches grown in a neighborhood or public park don’t have nearly the same access to water, which is what many arboriculturists attribute to discrepancy to.
.The outer bark of young river birches can even be nearly pinkish in hue, while the inner bark is most often a darker, cinnamon-like color. More mature river birch trees will display darker brown bark that grows in ridged scales that lie close together rather than peeling away.
This color is made even more stunning against the backdrop of their mottled bark.
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