University of Maryland Extension

River Birch

Author: 
Ellen Nibali

Betula nigra ‘Heritage’

Yearning for winter interest in your bare garden? The craggy trunk of river birch ‘Heritage’ can spice up your garden with exfoliating bark in shades of salmon pink, cinnamon, and white. At 40-70 feet tall, this medium-sized tree fits most landscapes.  The glossy green leaves create dappled shade in summer and clear yellow foliage in fall. It resists the borers which kill New England white or paper birch. Native to Maryland stream banks and moist locations, river birch can handle dryer sites but not high pH soils. Purchase a multi-trunked plant to best show off the fabulous bark.  

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