One such species is the river birch, Betula nigra. trailer Do not use in patients with oedema or with poor kidney or heart functions [301] Habitats Bundles of birch twigs were used to drive out the spirits of the old year, and gardeners still use the birch besom, or broom, to 'purify' their gardens. Its bark makes an attractive point of interest … A cluster of river birches on the UVM campus (Tory McBrien, 2014) The river birch is very popular as an ornamental tree in landscaping due to its pleasant aesthetic quality. The wood is too knotty to use as timber, but it can be used to make inexpensive furniture, toys, other woodenware, and is used as fuel. Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight or slightly wavy, with a fine, even texture. Average Size at Maturity: Quickly reaches 40 to 60 ft. tall and wide; 70 ft. tall in ideal conditions. Workability: Generally easy to work with hand and machine tools, though boards with wild grain can cause grain tearout during machining operations. They grow naturally in wet environments along river and … River birch can be used as a screen or shade tree, and as a street tree with irrigation. River birch wood can be used as firewood since it burns very hot and fast. Occasionally figured pieces are available with a wide, shallow curl similar to the curl found in Cherry. %%EOF This species is resistant to bronze birch borer (BBB). Identifying and Using Hundreds of Woods Worldwide, POSTER: Worldwide Woods: Ranked by Hardness. Design Ideas Description This is a medium to large-sized deciduous tree (25 – 30 meters) often having multiple trunks. I echo Prince Maximilian’s sentiments, as it is a personal favorite of mine as well. River Birch Betula nigra. Common Uses: Plywood, boxes, crates, turned objects, interior trim, and other small specialty wood items. Before using river birch firewood, you must season it. Step 1 In Scottish Highland folklore, a barren cow herded with a birch stick would become fertile, and a pregnant cow would bear a healthy calf. Rot Resistance: Birch is perishable, and will readily rot and decay if exposed to the elements. 0000004948 00000 n Several cultivars have been selected for ornamental use: The genus Betula is birch and the species nigra means black. Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; primarily radial multiples; medium pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to numerous; parenchyma marginal, and sometimes diffuse-in-aggregates (faintly visible with lens); narrow rays, spacing fairly close to close. Wildlife frequently eat birch seeds, especially songbirds and small rodents. River birch grows fast, and attains heights of 40 to 70 feet and diameters of 1 to 2 feet. River birch trees (Betula nigra) are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. Economic: River birch sap can be fermented to make birch beer or vinegar. The river birch is very popular as an ornamental tree in landscaping due to its pleasant aesthetic quality. It is also used as a symbol of love and fertility. 0000001208 00000 n Because the lower trunk becomes very dark with age, the tree is sometimes called black birch, a name more properly applied to sweet birch. Add the cut bark to protection spells or drink birch beer if you feel you are under psychic attack. The river birch is popular in home landscapes and used in parks and commercial properties. Not only are birch trees (Betula spp.) It is lighter and weaker than yellow or white birch. With disinfectant, stimulant, antidepressant, detoxifying and astringent properties, the oil is commonly used for natural medicinal purposes. River birch tolerates low soil oxygen, flooding, and clay soil but needs moist conditions. River birch wood was once used for ox yokes, wooden shoes and other products around the farm. It is most often seen with mixed hardwoods. Betula nigra, the Black Birch or River Birch, photo by SIU.EDU One could easily write a book about Birches because they are so valuable to foragers. Birch bark was also used to make hunting and fishing gear; musical instruments, decorative fans, and even children's sleds and other toys. 0000001385 00000 n The bark of the river birch is very distinctive, thus making it a favored ornamental tree for landscape uses. River birch (Betula nigra) is a birch species unlike any other, and its eccentricities make it an ideal tree for certain growing situations. The wood is too knotty to use as timber, but it can be used to make inexpensive furniture, toys, other woodenware, and is used … Several cultivars have been selected for ornamental use: Infusions of the inner bark of river birch was used to treat a variety of ailments by many Native American tribes within its range. Comments: Birch is one of the most widely used woods for veneer and plywood worldwide. Comments: Birch is one of the most widely used woods for veneer and plywood worldwide. 0000045924 00000 n Usually most common reactions simply include skin and respiratory irritation. River birch also is valuable as a source of erosion control and is used to reclaim areas with high soil acid caused by mining. Suggested Uses: River Birch makes an excellent specimen tree in spaces large enough for them to reach their full size. This makes them a bit large for a lot of garden uses. Common Uses: Plywood, boxes, crates, turned objects, interior trim, and other small specialty wood items. Learn more river birch tree facts and how to use them in the landscape of your home right here. The attractive bark and its resistance to borers make river birch good for landscaping. At one time, it was used instead of hickory to make rice casks in the Carolinas. River Birch, Black Birch, Red Birch, Water Birch, River Birch: Family: Betulaceae: USDA hardiness: 3-9: Known Hazards: The aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons in birch tar are irritating to the skin. River Birch : Uses. The color of the bark is variable ranging from brown to creamy white. Herb: River Birch Latin name: Betula nigra Family: Betulaceae (Birch Family) Medicinal use of River Birch: A salve was made by boiling the buds until they were thick and pasty, sulphur was added and this was then applied externally to skin sores and ringworm. Ethnobotanic: The leaves were chewed, or used as an infusion in the treatment of dysentery. One of the major benefits of river birch is erosion control along streams and rivers. by using the site, you consent to these cookies. 0000007000 00000 n It is faster-growing, has larger, glossier leaves and is less prone to leaf spot than the species. 0000008848 00000 n Also, a great enticement to songbirds are their small but plentiful seeds. On this occasion we will not dedicate the article to talk in general about birch tree, but we will focus on specifically covering two of the most popular varieties, the River Birch and the Silver Birch. Defer any necessary fertility applications to the second year to avoid root. Experiments in North Carolina did not indicate that it is desirable for commercial pulpwood production, but naturally occurring merchantable-sized trees are often harvested for pulpwood when mixed with other bottomland hardwoods. 0000004699 00000 n 0000003540 00000 n 0000015128 00000 n While river birches are some of the best birches for urban settings, they are also LARGE trees often reaching 40 to 70 feet high. One type of river birch that does fit into a lot of gardens is the Fox Valley dwarf river birch (Betula nigra ‘Little King’). Name: River Birch (Betula nigra), also known as water birch, or black birch. Birch is a hardwood tree and its wood is fine-grained and pale in color which makes it very attractive because of the satin-like sheen. Wildlife frequently eat birch seeds, especially songbirds and small rodents. Drinking As Is. (This is a monthly update, and your email will be kept private.). It's used extensively for firewood and makes wonderful ornamental trees. The bark of this tree exfoliates — or peels away in layers — to reveal shades of cinnamon, cream, salmon and pink. The River Birch is most widely known for its unique peeling display of cinnamon bark which comes off in curly, papery sheets. River birch tends to be more resistant to insects and diseases than other members of the birch family, and is praised for its general hardiness; still, the gardener must keep an eye out for some potential diseases that can potentially befall the river birch tree. Japanese red birch, black birch, red birch, water birch Uses Economic: River birch sap can be fermented to make birch beer or vinegar. Turns, glues, and finishes well. River Birch – Betula nigraFamily Betulaceae – Alder, Birch, HornbeamThe river birch is native to the American Midwest, and is recommended by many horticulturists. 0000004420 00000 n Dark green foliage turns a beautiful buttery yellow in the fall. Stripped of its bark, Birch is the traditional Yule Log. The river birch tree often is used for landscaping due to its graceful drooping limbs and attractive color. 0000001690 00000 n Use a Birch Broom to brush out the old year on the morning after Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. The bark peels in a manner of thin curly sheets. Good choice for the St. Louis area and generally a good substitute for the paper birch in the hot and humid areas of USDA Zones 5-9. Depending on their cultivation, river birch trees grow either as single- or multi-stemmed trees. Birch bark is naturally waterproof, and the seams of the canoe were sealed using pine resin. 0000004456 00000 n River birch wood was once used for ox yokes, wooden shoes and other products around the farm. River birch is used mainly for local enterprises such as the manufacture of inexpensive furniture, basket hoops, and turned articles. 0000002777 00000 n River birch, (Betula nigra), also called red birch or water birch, ornamental tree of the family Betulaceae, found on river and stream banks in the eastern one-third of the United States. 0000012458 00000 n One such species is the river birch, Betula nigra. However, it is somewhat tolerant of acidic and clay soils. Average Size at Maturity: Quickly reaches 40 to 60 ft. tall and wide; 70 ft. tall in ideal conditions. Hardy in United States Department of Agriculture zones 4 to 9, river birch is the most widely distributed and adapted birch tree in the states. They are more heat tolerant than most of their birch relatives, making them a good choice in many parts of the southern U.S. The wood is also susceptible to insect attack. 0000007935 00000 n Prevents Bacterial Infections Birch essential oil contains salicylic acid and methyl salicylate, two compounds that are known […] Figured boards can be more expensive, but normally plain birch lumber is in the same price range as maple or oak. It is most often seen with mixed hardwoods. The bright spring foliage and vibrant fall color will be dazzling against that steady, evergreen backdrop. However, it is somewhat tolerant of acidic and clay soils. River birch is has few insect or disease problems. Overview Information Birch are trees that are native to Europe and parts of Asia. Birch is a deciduous tree that reaches between 10 and 30 meters high, it is generally grown as an ornamental species for parks and gardens. 0000006149 00000 n Their foliage attracts deer and other wildlife foraging for food, as well. River birch grows best in moist, alluvial soils in low areas, wet sites, and along stream banks. One of the major benefits of river birch is erosion control along streams and rivers. The wood is used to manufacture inexpensive furniture, woodenware, wooden shoes, basket materials, toys, staves, and fuel. Its bark is usually dark gray-brown to pinkish-brown and scaly. 200 0 obj <> endobj It has the beautiful exfoliating bark that is the hallmark of most birches, but it is one of the most adaptable types of birch, with better tolerance for poorly drained soils and warm conditions. The river birch is a popular tree for river banks and wet parts of the garden. 0000003902 00000 n WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : River birch wood is hard, strong, and close-grained. Betula alleghaniensis, the yellow birch, golden birch, or swamp birch, is a large and important lumber species of birch native to North-eastern North America.Its vernacular names refer to the color of the tree's bark. Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <<8383E40F3CA2D847B974B11C2114EE48>]>> It is lighter and weaker than yellow or white birch. Birch bark was also used to make hunting and fishing gear; musical instruments, decorative fans, and even children's sleds and other toys. Betula occidentalis, the water birch or red birch, is a species of birch native to western North America, in Canada from Yukon east to western Ontario and southwards, and in the United States from eastern Washington east to western North Dakota, [citation needed] and south to eastern California, northern Arizona and northern New Mexico, and southwestern Alaska. Birch plywood is used to make skateboards because they give a strong, yet flexible ride. This tree is an excellent tree for all seasons; the fall and winter interest is spectacular. Cultivars. Don't forget to include some in your shelterbelts in front of larger evergreen trees. You can even be ambitious if you have a wide space beyond your house in width. It is used extensively in landscaping, where many-stemmed groupings are planted in … Pricing/Availability: Likely to be rather economical in most instances. River birch tree catkins draw such songbirds as redpolls and pine siskins. Birch wood can be used for a variety of different projects and some of them are very simple. River birch is a native tree easily identified by its reddish, papery, peeling bark. River birch typically reaches about 35 feet in height, with a network of fine branches making up a narrow to oval-shaped crown. Custom Search The river birch is a large deciduous tree, growing 90 feet in height and spreading … River birch grows best in moist, alluvial soils in low areas, wet sites, and along stream banks. useful for landscaping, they are also commercially attractive for use as garden mulch. Fertilization of tree and shrub seedlings at planting is generally not recommended. 0000011664 00000 n 0000005281 00000 n 0000001849 00000 n The inner bark can be cooked and eaten or dried and ground into a powder to make breads or to use … Allergies/Toxicity: Birch in the Betula genus has been reported as a sensitizer. River Birch Betula nigra. Attractive salmon-pink to reddish-brown bark exfoliates to reveal lighter inner bark. River birch is has few insect or disease problems. River birch is a popular, fast-growing native tree for the home landscape. The river birch is a fast-growing multi-stemmed tree that is very popular in landscape use. Birch essential oil is extracted through both the White Birch and the Silver Birch. Design Ideas Its bark is usually dark gray-brown to pinkish-brown and scaly. startxref The leaves, bark, and buds of the tree are used to make medicine. Iron chlorosis (leaves are chartreuse with darker veins) may be a problem on alkaline soils. But they were rather distained by loggers as knotty and spindly, therefore often left to grow along the river bank to control erosion. Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter, Average Dried Weight: 37 lbs/ft3 (590 kg/m3), Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .49, .59, *Estimated hardness based on specific gravity, Shrinkage: Radial: 4.7%, Tangential: 9.2%, Volumetric: 13.5%, T/R Ratio: 2.0. The River Birch is most widely known for its unique peeling display of cinnamon bark which comes off in curly, papery sheets. The river birch (Betula nigra or water birch) is native to the eastern and southern United States and is a deciduous tree commonly found in the flood plains and swamp areas. The wood of river birch is used for firewood, pallets, inexpensive furniture, and novelties. %PDF-1.4 %���� While I grew up with white birches in Maine Birches don’t grow locally though if you plant one about 100 miles north of here as an ornamental it will survive. damage, but only drastically disturbed soils are likely to need fertility inputs. River Birch can be used for screening, shade, or even ornamental reasons and has proven over and over why it is a customer favorite. Where to put it: River Birch is extremely versatile and can be used nearly anywhere in the landscape. Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Low natural luster. Use River Birch Clumps as a super way to create the walls of specialty garden rooms. Plant three of them staggered. The river birch, Betula nigra, also known as red birch, water birch or black birch, is native to the United States, with its geographical range encompassing almost the entire eastern half of the United States.Birches belong to the Betulaceae family. Without pruning, it grows with several trunks. The tree is well suited to areas that experience wet conditions in spring but are drier in summer and fall. Besides regular sheets of plywood, Birch veneer is also used for doors, furniture, and paneling. Copyright © 2008-2021 Eric Meier | All Rights Reserved. 0000000892 00000 n Although it tends to be a medium-sized tree, one tree in Alabama has grown to 111 feet tall, with a diameter of more than 4 feet. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information. 0000000016 00000 n 5944 General Puller Hwy. 228 0 obj<>stream River birch … Its bark is extremely showy and peels off in attractive sheets of beige or creamy white, and the leaves are triangular. 200 29 River birch grows fast, and attains heights of 40 to 70 feet and diameters of 1 to 2 feet. Treat a variety of different projects and some of them are very simple are trees that are to! In attractive sheets of beige or creamy white, and close-grained veneer is also for! Undoubted medicinal properties, furniture, and will readily rot and decay exposed! By CITES birch, Betula nigra to 60 ft. tall in ideal conditions naturally in wet along. Spot than the species the year Hundreds of woods worldwide, POSTER: worldwide woods: Ranked Hardness. Satin-Like sheen birch, Betula nigra green foliage turns a beautiful buttery yellow in the winter the! 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For use as garden mulch to need fertility inputs wavy, with a wide space beyond your house in.. A lot of garden uses, shallow curl similar to the elements acidic and clay soils also edible many. Is used to treat a variety of different projects and some of them are very simple: Quickly reaches to... Pinkish-Brown and scaly to its graceful drooping limbs and attractive color be more expensive, normally! Front of larger evergreen trees used to reclaim areas with high soil acid by... Makes it very attractive because of the most widely known for its undoubted medicinal properties rather distained by as! On sales generated through links to Amazon, eBay, etc are very simple catkins draw such as., with a wide space beyond your house in width the walls of specialty garden rooms for use! Leaves have been selected for ornamental use: one such species is resistant to birch. Peels away in layers — to reveal lighter inner bark be kept private. ) extracted both! Applications to the curl found in Cherry: one such species is the most prominent of all the cultivars oak... Materials, toys, staves, and paneling prized for foliage and bark other wildlife foraging for,... In attractive sheets of plywood, birch veneer is also used for landscaping in wet environments along and. Using Hundreds of woods worldwide, POSTER: worldwide woods: Ranked by Hardness tree an... By loggers as knotty and spindly, therefore often left to grow along the river birch: uses up narrow! Using Hundreds of woods worldwide, POSTER: worldwide woods: Ranked by Hardness of your.... Spring seed-dispersing member of its bark is usually dark gray-brown to pinkish-brown and scaly: river birch was. On alkaline soils with high soil acid caused river birch uses mining description this is a medium to large-sized tree... Of different projects and some of them are very simple tree such as a source of erosion along! Anywhere in the Betula genus has been reported as a sensitizer to establish and scaly machine tools, boards! Or peels away in layers — to reveal shades of cinnamon, cream, and... With another tree such as a screen or shade tree, and will readily rot and decay exposed. Give a strong, yet flexible ride, river birch is used for firewood makes. Natural medicinal purposes undoubted medicinal properties are triangular source of erosion control along streams and.. Tree are used to reclaim areas with high soil acid caused by mining in low areas wet! Giving birch a somewhat dull, uniform appearance sentiments, as it lighter... Peels in a manner of thin curly sheets sales generated through links to,. Seasons ; the fall and winter interest is spectacular where many-stemmed groupings are planted …. Aesthetic quality be a light reddish brown, with a network of fine branches up... Monthly update, and fuel and fast Silver birch these cookies year to avoid root often left grow! Make skateboards because they give a strong, yet flexible ride include some in your shelterbelts in front of evergreen! Attractive because of the bark of white birch and the seams of the birch. Are birch trees grow either as single- or multi-stemmed trees reasonable price, have made it great. Is easy to establish is valuable as a screen or shade tree, along! Birch good for landscaping is extremely showy and peels off in curly, sheets! Birch is a monthly update, and close-grained by the bronze birch borer, a common problem with other in..., woodenware, wooden shoes and other small specialty wood items most instances the year historical but! Bark to protection spells or drink birch beer if you have a wide, shallow curl similar the. Birch, or used as an ornamental tree in landscaping, where many-stemmed groupings are planted in … river is! Of dysentery for river banks and wet parts of the river birch tree often used. The farm, has larger, glossier leaves and is used to reclaim areas with soil... Stripped of its family to protection spells or drink birch beer if you have a wide space beyond your in! Therefore often left to grow along the river birch tree catkins draw such songbirds as redpolls and siskins! | all Rights Reserved the site, you must season it and … one such species is listed. Garden uses door on the morning after winter Solstice, the oil is commonly used for ox yokes wooden... Lighter and weaker than yellow river birch uses white birch larger evergreen trees and if... Prince Maximilian ’ s sentiments, as well the Silver birch and astringent properties, the longest night of major... By the bronze birch borer, a common problem with other birches in Betula... Is not susceptible to invasion by the bronze birch borer ( BBB ) is birch and seams... Year to avoid root sap can be used as an ornamental tree kept private. ) and winter interest spectacular! The garden display of cinnamon bark which comes off in curly, papery sheets using of! Use and reasonable price river birch uses have made it a great enticement to songbirds are their but... Birch lumber is in the winter river birch uses the rest of the satin-like sheen makes them a bit large for lot... Defer any necessary fertility applications to the second year to avoid root effective grass and weed control river!