Street Trees Part 3 – Betula (Birch)

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Birch trees have long been cherished for their bark color and texture. But they can also be cherished for their versatility and adaptability to harsh conditions.


birch street harsh


European White Birch, Betula pendula, was widely planted several decades ago but it was found to be susceptible to Bronze Birch borer.

borer 2



There are other birch varieties that do well in adverse conditions.

River birch has become a popular street tree as a single stem,


birch street 2


not the clump form.




Betula nigra, River Birch


nigra tree


has reddish-brown exfoliating bark


nigra bark


and is excellent for wet spots.


Betula nigra ‘Dura Heat’™ is a fast growing, upright tree that is tolerant of hot summer temperatures and is adaptable to most soils.


birch dura



Betula papyrifera ‘Renaissance Oasis’, Renaissance River Birch


oasis birch


is another heat tolerant selection.

Betula nigra ‘Heritage’™ has white, exfoliating bark and tolerates wet, poorly drained soils and is resistant to bronze birch borer.




Betula platyphylla var. ‘Whitespire’, Whitespire Birch is tolerant of high temperatures.





The white bark does not exfoliate.


white bark


There are other birch trees that lend themselves to a larger park setting. Betula papyrifera, Paper birch has distinctive white bark and can reach a height up to 50 feet.


paper birch


Birch are becoming one of the more popular trees for plant along streets


street tree


due to their year-round interest and durability.