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River Birch

River birch is native to lower elevations in southeastern United States, but can grow as far north as Minnesota and as far west as eastern Kansas. It can grow as tall as 60 feet, but often the trunk "divides" resulting in a smaller tree with multiple limbs growing off one root system. It gets its name because it thrives when planted close to a body of water, such as a river or stream. Bark peels away from the trunk, adding an interesting texture to the landscape. River birch turns shades of yellow and gold in the fall.

Close-up of leave shows its triangular shape and serrated edge Bark is flaky and dark, but easily strips away to reveal a much lighter cream-colored inner layer In late fall, the male flowers of the river birch appear and are called catkins. Photo shows catkins coming out of the edge of a branch between leaves. Leaves on a branch show pale yellow fall colors Whole river birch tree, just starting to change colors in fall