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Campus Gardens

Betula nigra 'Heritage'
River birch
Family: Betulaceae

River birch is a medium-sized deciduous shade tree growing about 60' tall. Leaves are 1 _" to 3" long and have a wedge-shaped base with serrated edges. Autumn foliage is golden to golden-brown whereas summer foliage is dark green. Flowers are unisexual catkins, having cylindrical drooping characteristics. The smaller twigs and branches have smooth reddish bark, while the trunk has a peeling, thin, brown, papery bark that makes it popular for planting as an ornamental. Very old trunks turn brown and rigid. This is a specimen tree and is often planted as a shade tree. The architecture of the tree is pyramidal, but as it grows taller, it does not necessarily have specific form.

It is native to eastern United States, particularly southern New England, and grows naturally near river banks and areas that tend to flood. It's hardy in zones 4-9.River birch can be found in the central bed of the entrance gardens.

Beth Enko


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