River Birch/Shaggy Birch

The river birch, known as Betula nigra, is a deciduous tree native to the eastern United States. It is a distinctive birch species known for its attractive peeling bark, which ranges in colour from salmon-pink to reddish-brown.

The Appearance

A medium-sized deciduous tree with a rounded crown and distinctive, peeling bark that reveals layers of cream, brown, and orange. The leaves are ovate and serrated.


The Produce

These samaras are winged seeds that form in clusters, resembling miniature cones.


The Flowers

Produces small, catkin-like flowers in spring, which are not particularly showy.


The Leaves

The leaf shape is broadly ovate to diamond-shaped, with a pointed tip and an uneven base.


The Bark

The bark is shaggy and exfoliating, peeling away in thin, papery layers.


The Habitat

Prefers moist, well-drained soils and full sun. Commonly found along riverbanks and in wetlands.


The Ecology

Provides habitat and food for various wildlife, including birds and insects. The roots help stabilize soil and prevent erosion.


The Culture

Valued for its ornamental bark and often used in landscaping near water features.


Fun Facts

River Birch is one of the few birches that thrives in warmer climates and is resistant to birch borer.

The Connection To Burton Constable

bchp info coming soon