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Diff between River Birch and 'Heritage' River Birch

Posted by jezibels 5 (My Page) on
Wed, May 20, 09 at 19:12

I bought a few River Birches for my front yard, the tag does not say "Heritage" River Birch, are the "heritage" variety prettier, with nicer peeling bark? Im wondering if I should plant these or go shopping for the "heritage" variety.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Diff between River Birch and 'Heritage' River Birch

My experience in the nursery business was that the 'Heritage' was much more uniform in production than the species in bark color and peeling, etc. It was also a FASTER growing river birch if given ideal conditions - namely moist, rich soil. Also seemingly more touchy when winters are very dry (dead branches and branch tips).

RE: Diff between River Birch and 'Heritage' River Birch

Species river birch tends to be more peely, cinnamony colored in its bark. Heritage, with age, tends to shed sheets of bark and is certainly more cream-colored and orange, overall.

Don't know about differences in growth rate. You put the water to 'em, they grow fast.

I had the pleasure and honor of meeting Mr. Earl Cully, the nurseryman who introduced the Heritage birch, last summer. A true gentleman. He says that the new selection, Improved Heritage, is even better - more vigor, better color. Until I see these new trees after some years go by, I'm willing to accept his opinion.

But the simple fact is, for those of us in the midwest, any river birch is a splendid tree and well-worth growing.


RE: Diff between River Birch and 'Heritage' River Birch

Dura Heat is supposed to be even better.

I live in an area where river birches grow wild and they have some really showy bark too. I don't know that I would notice a difference.

RE: Diff between River Birch and 'Heritage' River Birch

I simply love the overall look of 'Heritage' River Birch trees.

The 'Dura Heats' are reported to withstand planting areas that drain better and that may encounter more drying out in the hottest parts of summer, when rains are less apt to occur.

Personally though, the 'Dura Heat' birches seem to display a little more yellow than I would prefer to see in a birch tree's bark. The leaves also do not seem to be as nicely shaped or colored as the Heritage Birch tree's leaves.

Bottom line; I guess whichever birch cultivar you plant needs to the cultivar that is more compatable with the soil conditons and climate that the tree will encounter in its intended planting site.

Still personally I prefer the Heritage Birch tree cultivar over most others. There are even prettier cultivars than Heritage Birch, but any those others that happen to tolerate my USDA zone area seem to be more prone to Birch borers or even other pests, which feed off the leaves of such birch trees.

RE: Diff between River Birch and 'Heritage' River Birch

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Thu, May 21, 09 at 10:49

The main thing visually about 'Cully' is the whiter bark. Some older ordinary river birches in my area at least are actually ugly, their bark reminiscent of old moldy newspapers.

But we don't have severe winters that blast the trunks of birches clean.

RE: Diff between River Birch and 'Heritage' River Birch

Thank you all for the nice comments, I planted them and Im sure Ill love them. I started a gardening blog of my own:, on it I will post the regular river birch's progress in my zone 5! Thanks again and Happy Gardening guys!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sprout Baby Sprout blog

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