It's easy to understand why the Heritage® River Birch is such a popular tree. Compare birch tree types native to the US, including river birch, paper birch and yellow birch. Its scientific name is Betula nigra. It is popular for its ornamental peeling bark. Habitat: Found in bottomland areas and along streams in eastern Iowa. River birch (Betula nigra) is a medium-sized tree associated with moist, rich soils along streams, rivers and swampy locations.It is the most common birch native to Iowa. For starters, it's resistant to common diseases, grows up to 2 to 3 feet each year, and adapts to a variety of soil types. See pictures of some of the most popular birch cultivars. River birch transplants easily at any age and grows into a medium tree of about 40 feet and rarely to 70 feet. River birch, (Betula nigra), ornamental tree of the family Betulaceae, found on river and stream banks in the eastern one-third of the United States. A rather special variety of Birch tree, Betula Nigra is one of the few birches that will tolerate a hot spell and is an ornamental trees that will thrive in wet soil. Betula Nigra - also known as River Birch, Black Birch and Red Birch. River birch occupies large eastern north-south ranges in North America from Minnesota to Florida. Plus, learn how to plant, care for and use birch trees in your garden. Classic, Fast-Growing Ornamental Tree Why Heritage® River Birch Trees? River birch (Betula nigra) is a fast-growing, shade tree native to the Mississippi River flood plain in southeastern Minnesota. The tree needs direct Because the lower trunk becomes very dark with age, the tree is sometimes called Plus, it's an elegant source of shade, with unique peeling bark that stands out in your landscape. Unlike other birches that have white barks, the river birch's bark is reddish brown and curls and peels naturally, adding visual interest to the plant. The river birch is a medium-sized deciduous tree extending from New England, west to Kansas. The river birch is a fast-growing, water-loving, deciduous tree, native to much of the United States. Used as a forest buffer and to assist in erosion control along stream banks, the river birch also provides food for many bird species, including grouse and white-tailed dear. As a landscape plant, it is grown as a single-stem tree or in a clump as a multi-stemmed tree with three or more trunks.