Nebraska Forest Service



Date of this Version



Issued by Nebraska Forest Service. Copyright 2005 University of Nebraska.


River birch (Betula nigra) has become a very popular landscape tree in Nebraska. It is similar to the white birch but without the insect and borer problems and it is used to the heat of summer since it is a more southerly variety of birch. It grows best along rivers and streams in its native habitat but it does very well as a landscape tree or as a visual barrier planted in a row. River birch is native to the Atlantic coastal states, southern states, the lower Midwest, eastern Great Plains, and lower Mississippi River valley. It is not native to Nebraska. As a member of the Birch Family, it is related to the Alders, Hornbeams, Filberts, and Hophornbeams, in addition to other Birches.