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Old 07-15-2009, 05:07 AM
 
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I am from waaaaaaaaay up north and now live permanently in the south. The other day, I spotted a birch tree while out on a walk. I fell in love with it because it reminded me of 'back home'. Sentimental! Our school field trips when I was little always included some little blurb on how the Indians made canoes out of the birch bark etc etc. Anyhow, I really would love one, but if they grow down here in NC, why have I only seen ONE?? Are they expensive, and are there problems growing these here? They are a dime a dozen in northern Ontario...well...free for hikers
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Floribama
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The only birch tree I can think of that is common in the south is the River Birch, almost over planted though.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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These birch trees are indigenous to NC:

Betula alleghaniensis (Yellow Birch) - Mountains
Betula cordifolia (Mountain Paper Birch) - Mountains, but rare
Betula lenta (Sweet Birch, Black Birch, Cherry Birch) - Mountains and Piedmont
Betula nigra (River Birch) - Moutains, Piedmont, Coastal

I don't know where you are exactly, but I see the River Birch quite frequently.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:15 AM
 
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You can grow river birch in NC. European White birch is another one I see sometimes down here in GA.
Maybe.... MAYBE Yellow or sweet birch in the most ideal of conditions but you can forget about paper birch which is the common one found growing way up in boreal forest and up til the trees end.

The only one you're going to find for sale locally is the River Birch.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
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You just have to watch how close you plant some of them to your buildings/sidewalks/pipes. Some birch trees are water seekers.

If you want to get some seedling (bare root) birch trees on the cheap, check out Trees - Arbor Day Foundation. They'll walk you through picking the best trees for your zone, or you can just look up "birch" and see if they match your zone (by zip code, on the site).

Some folks would rather buy a large BB or potted tree, but I like the bare-root seedlings myself.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:49 AM
 
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Thanks to you all for the information. How different is the river birch from a paper birch? I dont know if the bark is significantly different. As a kid, I used to peel the onion-skin-fine paper off of the birch (I know, not good for the tree!) and use it to help start our campfires because it burned so well. Those are some gorgeous trees. I'm off to look up the river birch now.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:02 AM
 
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I found this link: Birch Wood: Why it is a great wood to use for..

The link says: "...paper (sometimes referred as white or canoe) birch are the two most common trees in Northern Ontario" and " "White" birch, as we know it, is not really a species but rather a combination of either paper and/or gray birch"

Interesting. Wish I could have a white birch...what conditions would make it work?
Attached Thumbnails
Birch trees in the south-white-birch.jpg  
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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River Birch has a wonderful peeling bark which adds so much texture to the landscape. The only drawback I've found is mature ones have rather extensive above ground root system which can be a walking/tripping hazard.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jctx View Post
Thanks to you all for the information. How different is the river birch from a paper birch? I dont know if the bark is significantly different. As a kid, I used to peel the onion-skin-fine paper off of the birch (I know, not good for the tree!) and use it to help start our campfires because it burned so well. Those are some gorgeous trees. I'm off to look up the river birch now.
In terms of ornamental appeal, they both bring about equal amounts to the table.
Paper birch is more known for white bark whereas river birch is known for cream colored bark and more dramatic exfoliating bark. Paper birch, as do sweet & yellow birch have better fall color than river birch.

please [+] me
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:20 PM
 
596 posts, read 2,781,397 times
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Shagbark it wont allow me to give you points yet since I have done it so recently (I guess thats the forums reasoning?). I really appreciate all your great info.
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