Medium to Fast
As its name suggests, the river birch naturally grows along riverbanks. But as a landscape tree, it can be planted almost anywhere in the U.S. The species is valued for its relatively rapid growth, tolerance of wetness and some drought, unique curling bark, spreading limbs, and relative resistance to birch borer.
The river birch has not yet reached the popularity of many maples and oaks, but it is well on its way. In 2002, one of its cultivars was even named the Urban Tree of the Year by the Society of Municipal Arborists.
Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade
Acidic, Clay, Drought, Loamy, Moist, Sandy, Well Drained, Wet
The catkins of the River Birch are used by redpolls and pine siskins. The foliage is eaten by deer and other browsers. The small but plentiful seeds are appreciated by a wide range of songbirds.
River birch wood was once used for ox yokes, wooden shoes and other products around the farm. But they were rather distained by loggers as knotty and spindly, therefore often left to grow along the river bank to control erosion.