Tag Archives: Betula Nigra

Betula nigra ‘Heritage’ – River birch

As the temperature drops and the onslaught of snow is inevitable, I have one go-to plant/tree for happiness:   

I love me some River birch (Betula nigra), in my case, ‘Heritage’ River birch. This is a true four season tree and it really shines most when it is needed – the winter.

The exfoliating bark truly stands out when the ground is covered in snow:

The cinnamon colored peeling bark has such an interesting color and texture, it makes you want to inspect it up close and run your fingers all over it. My three trees are relatively young (2 years) so I look forward to watching the development of the bark as the trees age.

But it isn’t all about the bark. I truly enjoy watching this tree first leaf out in spring:

And the development of the catkins (as I’ve learned, the ones in the photo below are apparently female and turn to fruit which is filled with seeds desired by many birds – much more to read and research for me):

As the tree leafs out fully, the aforementioned birds begin to inhabit and seek out the seeds?:

While the River birch isn’t known for it’s big blooms or colorful leaves, it still has a fantastic shape (especially while young) that looks great all summer:

The fall color of the River birch, while fleeting, is a fantastic yellow that contrasts well with all of the red fall color from other trees and shrubs:

But once again, when all is said and done, that beautiful peeling bark steals the show:

Some final quick tidbits:

  • Reaches an ultimate height in the 40-70 foot range 
  • Is a native of the eastern US and typically can be found in swampy areas and flood plains
  • As you can imagine, prefers wet soil based on it’s native habitat and that is music to my ears  
  • Prefers and will really only thrive in full sun
  • Survives in zones 4-9
  • Deciduous tree that seems to lose it’s leaves early in the fall
  • Both single and multi-trunk options exist and I definitely prefer the look of multiple trunks


River Birch = happiness

Today’s post will be all about the photos. Photos of the three new River Birches that were planted by Rutgers Nursery this morning:


 I feel sorry for these two guys. They had to get deep into the clay to plant the 16 foot trees.
Never mind, they used this Auger. Piece of cake (I kid).
Look at that determination and focus.

Subliminal ad placement.
View from inside family room
View of back of house
  Have I mentioned how phenomenal this nursery is? Incredible job every time. 
Look at the multiple trunks and peeling bark. It had me at “hello”.
Did I mention the bark?
One last one
I can’t tell you how invigorated I feel having these River Birch (Betula Nigra) planted. They add so much character to the backyard and open up a world of possibilities for integrating them into the overall design. And they like to drink water and I got plenty for them. 
Before I go, I will again rave about the job Rutgers Nursery has done once again. They are planted perfectly, have a one year warranty (no questions asked) and the trees are in absolute perfect condition. Of course, you wouldn’t expect anything differently with this nursery that is THE NURSERY in my neck of the woods in New Jersey. Check them out if you can. You will not regret it:
Also check out the blog they write for oodles of information:
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.