Betula nigra 'City Slicker'

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City Slicker River Birch

Height: 60 feet.

Spread: 50 feet.

Sunlight: full sun partial shade.

Hardiness Zone: 4b.

Other Names: Red Birch.


A beautiful variety with good vigor, drought tolerance, and extremely white bark; leaves turn a bright gold in fall; requires acidic soil, susceptible to chlorosis in alkaline soils.

Ornamental Features:

City Slicker River Birch features subtle chartreuse catkins in early spring. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding gold in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The peeling white bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes:

City Slicker River Birch is a deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may 'bleed' sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. It has no significant negative characteristics.

City Slicker River Birch is recommended for the following landscape applications;

Planting & Growing.

City Slicker River Birch will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 50 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.