Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Growth Rate: Fast
Bloom Time/Color: April-May; brown/green
Fall Color: Yellow
Uses: Specimen, shade tree
Tree Shape: Pyramidal, round
Other: Deer resistant
River birch are prized trees in Midwest gardens for their four-season interest and aesthetics. They love wet or clay soil conditions in full to part sun, though show some drought and heat resistance as well as deer resistance (one of the best birches for Iowa landscapes). Plants are recognized by their peeling, paper thin salmon/copper colored bark and small, triangular shaped, medium green leaves that tremble in slight breezes. River birch put out catkins in the spring which can remain until autumn, adding to the splendor of its yellow fall color. Birch are available as single trunk trees or those with multi-trunks as clumps. Better disease and insect resistance than other birch species; also very resistant to bronze birch borer.
Betula nigra is an Iowa native.