• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigourous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Betula nigra

River birch

River birch

© � RHS 1999

  • Other common names River birch
    Red birch

    Black birch

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  • Genus Betula can be deciduous trees or shrubs, usually colouring well in autumn and often with striking white, pink, or peeling brown bark; separate male and female catkins open before or with the leaves in spring

  • Family Betulaceae / Betulaceae

  • Species B. nigra is a bushy deciduous tree to 15m or more, with peeling bark, at first reddish-brown, later almost black; glossy dark green leaves turn yellow in autumn

  • Plant range C & E USA

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Chalk

    Sand

  • Chalk

    Clay

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Chalk

    Loam

  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Clay, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height

    Higher than 12 metres

  • Ultimate spread

    4-8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height

    20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation Will grow in a wide range of situations

Propagation Propagate by softwood cuttings or grafting

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Sawflies, aphids and leaf- mining sawflies may be a problem

Diseases A rust and a leaf spot may be a problem

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