Betula nigra

River Birch (Water Birch)                         


Bon View Estates Linear Park, N. 3rd & Monroe Streets, Denver PA (parking lot is just west of Monroe near its in- tersection with North 3rd)


Len Eiserer


Bon View Estates Linear Park probably has the largest concentration of River Birch in Lancaster County.   Native to the Eastern United States, Betula ni- gra typically lives in floodplains and can tolerate submersion of its lower parts for days or even weeks at a time.  

While its exfoliating bark doesn't quite have the stunning color of the Paper- bark Maple (Acer griseum; see separ- ate entry), B. nigra's bark is neverthe- less spectacular, especially in younger trees.


At Bon View Linear Park, a dozen of these trees line an entrance road in what is an impressive one-sided allee display.  Additional River Birches are scattered throughout the park, which lies in the floodplain of the Little Cocalico Creek.


This amazing species is a heat-tolerant member of what is otherwise a cold-weather family of trees.  Unlike other birches, River Birch can be found as far south as Florida.