Campus Tree Walk | River Birch

River Birch | Betula nigra

Pronunciation: BET-yoo-luh NYE-gruh
Scientific Name: Betula nigra
Common Names
: river birch
Family: Betulaceae
Origin: native to the southeastern United States, including adjacent northern states, and the northern range of the Mississippi River
Height: 40 to 50 feet  |  Spread: 25 to 35 feet

Description: River birch can grow 50 to 90 feet tall but is often only seen 40 to 50 feet. River Birch are distinguishable by their alternate, simple leaves, 1.5–3.5 inches long, 0.75–2.5 inches wide, with sharp pointed, double toothed or shallowly lobed, and a wedge shaped base. The trunk lacks the white bark associated with other birches, but is distinguished by reddish-brown bark peeling off in film-like papery curls.