Birch, River (Cinnamon)
At a Glance
Latin Name: Betula nigra
Other common names: black birch, red birch, water birch, cinnamon birch
Mature Height: Medium to fast growing. It is a deciduous tree growing to 80 ft, rarely to 100 ft. high with a trunk up to 2 ft. rarely 5 ft. diameter often with multiple trunks.
Soil / Climate: Full sun While it is commonly found in plains and/or swamps, it will grow on higher land. It better adapts to heat than other birches.
Notes: Insect resistant. River birch are good for large residences, public grounds, parks, golf courses, etc. Native Americans used the boiled sap as a sweetener similar to Maple syrup and the inner bark as a survival food. The bark of some are quite distinctive (very smooth and pinky white), making it a favored ornamental tree for landscaping. A spring planting (mid to late April) is recommended for bare root river birch.
Wildlife: A number of species of birds eat river birch seeds including ruffed grouse and wild turkey. White-tailed deer browse river birch. It provides nesting sites for waterfowl.
Purchase Size: 2-3 ft.
USDA NRCS Species Information