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River Birch

River Birch - Betula nigra, also known as Red birch, Black birch, Water birch

The gracefully branched river birch is a 30-50 ft., usually multi-trunked tree which can reach 90 ft. in height. Often slightly leaning and forked tree with irregular, spreading crown. A spreading crown of several large, ascending limbs support slightly weeping branches. The tree’s selling point is its satiny, silver bark that peels to reveal a cinnamon-brown trunk beneath. This is the southernmost New World birch and the only birch that occurs at low altitudes in the southeastern United States. Its ability to thrive on moist sites makes it useful for erosion control.

Heartwood tends to be a light reddish brown, with nearly white sapwood. Occasionally figured pieces are available with a wide, shallow curl similar to the curl found in Cherry. There is virtually no color distinction between annual growth rings, giving Birch a somewhat dull, uniform appearance.