River Birch ‘BNMTF’ DURA-HEAT

Arbor walk #93

A native tree on the eastern and midwestern US, river birch, also known as black birch. As a relatively heat resistant tree in the birch family, the river birch tree’s distribution extends further south than most other birch trees. 

Name River Birch ‘BNMTF’
Latin Name Betula nigra ‘BNMTF’ DURA-HEAT
Type Native Cultivar
Diameter 5” caliper
Color of Leaf Dark green with lighter undersides, turns yellow in fall.
Shape of Leaf Simple, alternate, 2 to 3 inches long, triangular or wedge-shaped with doubly serrated tooth margins.
Color of Flower Pale Red or Pale Yellow
Shape of Flower Male flowers are long, slender catkins near tips of stems; female flowers stand upright along same twig. (both types are found on an individual Dura Heat)
Fruit Characteristics Cone-like with hairy clusters of winged seeds
Bark Characteristics Cinnamon-colored Red peeling bark. Shinier than the ‘Heritage’
Foliage Type Deciduous


River birches have papery bark that’s considered scaly, and often has multiple thin trunks rather than one large trunk. River Birch functions as an ecologically valuable species because of their flood-resilience and ability to mitigate impacts of acid mine drainage. The bark of river birch is also considered a survival food. As an ornamental tree, the DURAHEAT cultivar is very similar to the Heritage cultivar in that it is a lighter colored tree that is resistant to the bronze birch borer, a beetle. The bark of DURAHEAT is shinier than that of Heritage, growing 40’ tall and 30’ wide.

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