River Birch Tree

Product Description

It’s easy to see why the River Birch tree is so popular—its unique, delicate curling birch bark naturally peels to expose beautiful flakes of cinnamon and it can be seen boosting the character of landscapes anywhere from the Deep South to the Great Lakes!

The cinnamon-colored, peeling bark of this black birch tree is what makes it a spectacular addition to landscapes in the winter. The River Birch features lustrous, medium-green leaves that are diamond shaped. The leaves turn yellow once the weather drops giving it great fall color.

Likely to be found on river bank and streams, this reddish brown tree grows well in a variety of conditions and has an attractive, exfoliating bark. A great choice for most places in the United States. Exactly as its name states, it is a semi aquatic tree meaning it likes to grow near bodies of water and controls erosion.

River Birch fruit appears in the fall season, is cone shaped and a little over an inch long. The cone contains plentiful seeds that are hairy and that travel by wind and water. This fast growing tree is the only spring-fruiting birch and the only native birch whose range includes the southeastern coastal plain.

Planting River Birch

The tree is tolerant of both wet & moist soils and is heat tolerant in dry summer weather as well as salt tolerant soil conditions. The River Birch prefers alkaline soils so be sure to test your soil pH when planting specimen trees. Planting river birch is easy once the planting site is established. In some hot environments leaves turn yellow. The solution to this is making sure soil stays consistently moist.

The river birch will grow up to 40 to 80 feet tall at mature height and 20-30 feet wide at mature width. The River Birch growth rate is moderate to fast once established. The River birch Betula nigra grows up to 1-3 feet per year. Its life is short, but it grows at a medium to fast rate and provides privacy quickly.

River Birch does not do well in partial shade, a characteristic of “pioneer” species (plants that are the first to colonize an open habitat) so be sure to plant this type of landscape tree in an area exposed to full sun. Once the root system establishes, this giant will become an excellent shade tree.

River Birch Care

It grows best in plant hardiness USDA hardiness zones 4-9.  Prune river birch trees at the end of spring for dead, diseased or crossed branches.

Birch trees are relatively free of pests and diseases. Luckily, it is the most borer resistant birch variety. This means it is least likely to get torn by wood destroying organisms.

One exception to this rule is the bronze birch borer. These metallic beetles can bore the wood of birch trees and devastate a tree after a few years of chewing. Proper care includes watering, pruning, mulching, and fertilizing to help manage these pests.

This River Birch tree for sale is rooted in its container with soil. These are not bare root trees. Buy river birch for a lovely tree to add to your yard or landscape.

Botanical Name

Betula nigra

Sunlight Full Sun
Foliage Color Green
Mature Height 40-80 ft
Mature Width 20-30 ft
Growing Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Growing Zones
Special Features
  • Showy bark
  • Yellow fall color
  • Fast growing
  • Shade tree

Shipping Info

Once your River Birch Tree order is placed, we will ship your plant(s) within seven business days year round unless during the checkout process you request otherwise in the space provided to do so.

Perfect Plants’ shipping specialists carefully package your plants using a proven packaging method that ensures your plants arrive healthy, colorfully alive and ready to flourish. We’ve coined the term ‘upside down box test’ and we do just that; we carefully package so that regardless of the direction your box is handled, it will not harm your precious plant that’s inside.

upside down test

No shipping process is without a problem from time to time. On rare occasions some plants may experience some of the following during their transit: drooping, minor leaf-loss and/or minimal yellowing/discoloration, minor limb damage, etc. These instances are quite rare, but can happen when shipping plants in boxes.

Plants normally recover within a few weeks after planting. If a damaged box has injured your plant on the inside, please notify us within 5 days of receiving you package(s) by emailing us a photograph of the damage.

We always do our very best to ensure that your plants are packed and shipped in the safest, gentlest and most effective way possible.

Will my plants and trees look like the photographs?

Absolutely! Unlike other online nurseries, our photos are of actual plants and trees we’ve grown here, on our family operated nursery.

our story Lloyd nurseryGrowing our own plants and trees helps to ensure we ship you the best quality plants that are free of pests and diseases.

Your plants and trees may however not ship with flowers on them, like the photographs. This all depends on the time of year you buy your plant or tree. Crape Myrtle trees, for example, only bloom during the summer months, so if you purchase one during the spring or fall, they would ship without flowers. Once planted, your plants will grow and thrive giving you flowers for many years to come!

Pot Sizes

Pot sizes (commonly referred to in gallons) are shipped in the same size nursery trade pots which may vary in actual volume. Some plants may have been at the approximate pot size listed, but require excess dirt to be removed so that you will not be paying any additional shipping costs. This doesn’t happen very often though.

Shipping Fees

Our shipping charges are based on the value of your order.  Please use the chart below to see what your shipping charge will be.

shipping matrix 2-16




The River Birch Tree needs full sun and well draining but moist, slightly acidic soils. A common sight near riverbeds or streams, this Birch is quite drought sensitive and needs regular watering, especially until established. In warmer climates, some afternoon shade may be tolerated as long as the tree is receiving 8 or more hours of direct sunlight daily. As this tree grows quickly when young, pruning to promote a strong, balanced shape while still a smaller tree is recommended. Pruning should take place during their dormant season in late summer to early winter. Crossing and unbalanced branches, as well as any dead or damaged branches should be removed


Dig a hole approximately twice as wide as your new plant’s root ball and deep enough so that the top of the root ball is equal with the ground level.

Loosen the root ball using a small garden spade or by hand. Breaking smaller outer roots can encourage growth into the new soil, but take care to not damage large primary roots.

Place the plant in the hole and ensure that it is situated evenly upright. Use the excavated soil to fill in around the root ball, using your foot to pack it in firmly. Thoroughly soak with a hose as you fill in the dirt. Take great care to not leave any gaps or air spaces around the root ball as this could kill the plant.

A 2-4 inch layer of mulch is strongly recommended to help retain moisture and discourage weed growth. Apply mulch over the entire planting area but keep away from the stems or trunk by a few inches. Ensure that the plant and surrounding soil is completely soaked with water.

To ensure the proper nutrients are available for the life of your River Birch, our proprietary Perfect Plants Special Blend Soil and a once yearly application of Nutricote Total 360 Fertilizer are great considerations for your new plants!

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  1. Krystal

    I can’t believe how easy Perfect Plants made my experience. Purchasing my River Birch was a breeze

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