Botanical Name: Betula nigra
Common Name: River Birch, Red Birch, Black Birch, Water Birch
Description: River birch is the only birch known to be native to Texas where it is common along rivers and streams in the eastern part of the state. River Birch’s distinguishing characteristic is its outstanding peeling cinnamon-colored bark. It grows in the wetlands of the Pineywoods and the Post Oak Savannah and is best adapted to moist soils. Although it is extremely heat tolerant, in dry years it will shed inner leaves. It prefers an acid soil, becoming chlorotic in high pH situations. The fine textured foliage can turn a good yellow in autumn but soon drop. The trunk is often divided into several large arching branches close to the ground, and the pyramidal growth form is graceful in youth. River birch ranges from about 40′ tall x 20-30′ wide though some grow to 90 feet. It is usually not bothered by insects or diseases. Birds eat the seeds. Fast growing shade tree. Sun to part sun.
Hardiness Zones 4-9