It’s Planting Season!

May is a time of new growth and blossoming, of greening and freshness.  May marks the time of year when planting is on everyone’s mind and hope of the coming seasons excites us.

Throughout the month of May we will be posting our Staff picks for ‘Tree of the Week’.  We hope you enjoy learning about these trees and that perhaps it will inspire you to plant a  new tree in your yard this Spring.

River Birch (Betula nigra)

Mature Height – 13m
Mature Spread – 10m

The river birch is often used for landscaping due to its graceful drooping limbs and attractive color. Most birches are known for their beautiful bark, which can dominate any landscape inBetula_nigra2 the dormant season. Ideal for areas that are wet a portion of the year yet may be quite dry in the summer.  River birch comes in a few compact varieties, is tolerant of salt, and poor soils making it a nice choice for city lots.

River birch is a fast-growing, deciduous tree. Its diamond shaped, double-toothed leaves produce an erect or spreading canopy that covers an extensive area. When young, its peeling bark is silvery gray, before changing to pink, reddish-brown or black when mature. It produces flowers in the spring and winter, and small brown or green cones in the summer.

River birch, as an ornamental tree, offers fall and winter color to parks, yards and street sides. Its leaves turn bright yellow in autumn; in the winter, its showy silver trunk adds beauty to the landscape. Wildlife, such as birds and rodents, eat its seeds, and deer eat its twigs and foliage. Ruby-throated hummingbirds drink its sap.

“He who plants a tree, plants a hope.” — Lucy Larcom, Plant a Tree