Great Plant Pick: Heritage birch

  • Wednesday, November 29, 2023 1:30am
  • Life
The bark of heritage birch has more white, cream and pale salmon tones than the typical river birch. (Richie Steffen)

The bark of heritage birch has more white, cream and pale salmon tones than the typical river birch. (Richie Steffen)

What: Heritage birch — also called white bark river birch, or betula nigra Cully Heritage — was selected for its incredible peeling bark. The bark has more white, cream and pale salmon tones than the typical river birch and is a beautiful substitute for the more insect- and disease-prone European white birch. It is a fast grower with a large, pyramidal, upright habit and looks great when grown in groups.

Where: This birch grows best in full sun to light shade and can adapt to a wide variety of soils, from well-drained to wet locations. It will also tolerate sandy sites or clay soils.

Size: Fifteen feet high by 15 foot wide in 10 years.

Care: Once established, it is drought tolerant. Lower branches can be removed when they are small to show off the beautiful trunk, but in general it requires little more than the removal of dead, broken or poorly formed limbs. Provide plenty of space to fully enjoy the beautiful trunk and the graceful, delicate branching.

— greatplantpicks.org

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