River Birch Tree was once called "the most beautiful of trees" by Prince Maximilian of Austria on a visit to the United States. Also known as the red birch, black birch or water birch, these trees are native to the Southeastern United States. Their leaves are diamond shaped and double-toothed and their leaves turn tallow in the fall. Early on, these trees have silvery gray bark that changes to pink, reddish-brown or black when the plant matures. Flowers bloom in the spring and winter and small brown cones appear in the summer. River birches can grow several trunks. Moreover, the river birch is most notably an ornamental tree. Its durability makes it easy for this tree to be used to make a variety of things, such as flatware, artificial limbs and toys. River birch trees are also a source of food for wildlife such as birds and rodents (who eat its seeds). Deer eat this tree’s twigs and foliage and hummingbirds drink its sap. River birch trees tend to grow in wet environments, hence the name. They’re usually found along river and stream banks, meaning they need very moist soil. Though they can tolerate drier soil, they do better when the soil is moist. Most people who have water on their properties surround it with river birch trees. These trees are also good for producing shade. River birch trees can be planted as saplings or grown directly from the seed. The trees are known for their papery and peeling bark. These trees don’t require much care once planted. Birch trees can also produce a fruit called “samara,” which can produce about 1 million seeds per year. Native Americans used river birch medicinally to treat dysentery and colds.
River Birch Tree
River Birch - Betula nigra
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