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Betula nigra 'Summer Cascade' PP15,105

Phonetic Spelling
BET-yoo-luh NY-gruh
Description

Weeping river birch is a graceful, relatively small tree in the Betulaceae (birch) family,  reaching 8 to 15 feet high when mature. Betula is Latin for birch and describes a genus of about 60 species of deciduous trees and shrubs found in many gardens and landscapes throughout the northern hemisphere.  ‘Summer Cascade’ is a cultivar of the native river birch and was introduced by John and Daniel Allen at Shiloh Nursery in Harmony, North Carolina.

River birch cultivars, like most birches, prefer wet sites and do best in moist, acidic, sandy or rocky, well-drained loam in full sun to part shade. The best foliage color occurs in full sun. River birches, including the weeping cultivar, are perhaps the most culturally adaptable and heat tolerant of the birches. This species has been known to tolerate flooded conditions for extended periods of time. Keep the soil consistently moist and consider using soaker hoses and bark mulches to keep the root zones cool and moist. You can allow the stems to grow to the ground or prune them to enjoy the exfoliating bark, but you should prune during the dormant season. Do not prune in winter or spring when the sap is running, because it will bleed. 

Place the weeping river birch in the lawn or pond as a specimen or accent. It will thrive in a rain garden, and its year-round exfoliating bark makes it perfect for a winter garden.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Problems:  'Summer Cascade' is one of the only birch cultivars with resistance to bronze birch borer and leaf miner. Aphids may occur. Watch for leaf spot problems and chlorosis in alkaline soils. Weeping river birch is messy and tends to drop a lot of twigs, making it better suited for less manicured areas of the landscape.

More information on Betula nigra.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Summer Cascade'
'Summer Cascade'
Tags:
#weeping#arching#fall color#small tree#specimen#tree#dwarf#accent plant#wet sites#moist soil#messy#cpp#birch#wet soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Summer Cascade'
'Summer Cascade'
Tags:
#weeping#arching#fall color#small tree#specimen#tree#dwarf#accent plant#wet sites#moist soil#messy#cpp#birch#wet soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Betula
    Species:
    nigra
    Family:
    Betulaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Canada and United States
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Bronze birch borers.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Rounded
    Weeping
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Aggregate
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    Drooping cone-like aggregate fruits containing small winged seeds that typically mature in late summer.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Inconspicuous tiny monoecious greenish-brown flowers appear in early spring in separate male and female catkins on the same tree.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Dark green simple, alternate leaves with rounded base and pointed apex. Good yellow fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Papery
    Peeling
    Ridges
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Provides winter interest in the landscape. Smooth on young trees, light tan colored, develops papery scales. As the tree ages, bark divides into flat, scaly ridges. The bark peels away year-round.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Salt
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Messy