River Birch

Arbor walk #93, TreeKeeper ID #5749

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. 

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 BNMTF cultivar is very similar to the Cully cultivar in that it is a lighter colored tree that is resistant to the bronze birch borer, a beetle. The bark of BNMTF is shinier than that of Cully, growing 40’ tall and 30’ wide.

Common NameRiver Birch
Latin NameBetula nigra
Indigenous Name(s) 
Cultivar/VarietyBNMTF
Commercial NameDura Heat

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More about Tree #93:

Where to find Arbor Walk #93

Data on the space around this tree

Data on this tree over time

More about the River Birch in general:

How to identify River Birch

Relationship of Betula nigra to other species in the Arboretum

Global Distribution of River Birch

Additional Resources on the River Birch