Plant Health Care in Richmond, VA

Betula nigra — flower blooms

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The amazing River Birch.

A native tree which can grow to 90 feet tall. A very appealing paper like bark, which adds to the trees sexiness even without leaves.

River birch grows fairly fast. But can also be fairly short lived in urban areas. (30-40 years)

The male and female flowers are born on the same tree. Male flowers are the catkin you see here. The female flower is a small cone cluster that falls to the ground or is blown away.

The tree can drop a fair amount of branches naturally. This can make for a messy area on ground, requiring frequent clean up. Plant it in a place where you don’t have to pick up sticks everyday.

If this tree is pruned in the spring or summer the wounds will bleed heavily. Beware.

River birch tolerates wet feet, but also does well in dry areas. The tree would prefer to grow in an acidic soil. Low ph.

Leaf diseases are minimal, as well as damaging insect infestations. The bronze birch borer that attacks other birches does not attack the river birch, making pesticide applications unnecessary. (Which makes me happy)


Written by vaphc

April 12, 2013 at 6:30 am

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