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Betula nigra 'Shiloh Splash' (PP16,362)

Common Name(s):
Black birch, River birch, Water birch
'Shiloh Splash'
Shrubs, Trees

Discovered by John and Danny Allen at Shiloh Nursery, ‘Shiloh Splash’ river birch is a variegated cultivar of river birch that has utility as a shrub or small tree in the landscape. Well mannered, Shiloh Splash will grow to be about 10-15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8-10 feet. With their pretty, papery, tan and peach bark, River Birches are wonderful winter interest trees, but here's one that delights in summertime, as well. 'Shiloh Splash' River Birch features green leaves that appear to have had their margins dunked in creamy-white paint. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground.  Propagation studies found that this cultivar roots readily from terminal, softwood cuttings (taken in mid July) with optimal treatments consisting of basal dips of 2,000 – 4,000 ppm of either KIBA or IBA in 50% isopropyl alcohol. It can be expected to live up to 70 years.

Seasons of Interest: 

    Foliage: Variegated, Fall-yellow  Bark: Winter

Ethnobotany:  The leaves of Betula nigra were chewed or used as an infusion in the treatment of dysentery. An infusion of the bark was used to treat stomach problems and difficult urination. Twigs were chewed or rubbed on teeth and gums for dental hygiene. River birch sap can be fermented to make birch beer or vinegar. The wood is used to manufacturer inexpensive furniture and other woodenware.

Wildlife Value: The River birch is a host plant for Mourning Cloak and Dreamy Duskywing butterflies.  Many moths also use it as a host plant.  The seeds are eaten by birds.  Birds and squirrels eat the male catkins in late winter/early springtime. This tree is resistant to damage by deer and can be used in a wind screen.

Insects, Diseases and Other Problems:  Our native river birch is one of the most popular trees for southern nurseries and landscapes. It is utilized extensively due to its attractive ornamental features, excellent adaptability (tolerance to heat and clay soils), and it is one of the only birch species with resistance to bronze birch borer. Susceptible to chlorosis in alkaline soils.

10-15 ft.
Enticingly variegated, alternate, simple, medium to dark green leaves with irregular white margins (1.5-3.5" long) with doubly toothed margins turn bright yellow in fall. Some shoots occasionally revert back to a uniform green color and need to be removed.
Inconspicuous. Monoecious flowers appear in drooping, brownish male catkins and smaller, upright, greenish female catkins. Followed by a cone-like aggregate fruit which contains 3 tiny seeds.
River birches are extremely adaptable and tolerates a wide range of growing conditions including high temperatures and wet soils. Easily grown average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. River birch is perhaps the most culturally adaptable and heat-tolerant of the birches. Prefers moist, acidic, fertile soils including semi-aquatic conditions, but also tolerates drier soils. Consider using soaker hoses and bark mulches to keep the root zones cool and moist. Adapts well to heavy clay soils and will tolerate poor drainage. Avoid pruning in spring when the sap is running.
Fine to medium
8-10 ft.
Growth Rate:
cpp, tree, small tree, deciduous, fall color, wind screen, host plant, wildlife, moths, deer resistant, fall interest, small, larval plant, bark, butterflies, screen

NCCES plant id: 3156

Betula nigra 'Shiloh Splash' (PP16,362) Betula nigra 'Shiloh Splash' (PP16,362)