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River Birch vs Green Alder

Betula nigra

Alnus crispa

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River Birch
Green Alder

River Birch has beautiful, peeling, brown bark that reveals camel-colored and pink beneath. It is more borer resistant than white bark birches, which makes it a much longer-lived landscape tree.

Green Alder is a cold hardy, native shrub. It is often planted on infertile sites so it can fix nitrogen from the air and improve the soil quality.

Green Alder is known for its smooth grey bark and attractive shiny green leaves; it is commonly used in reclamation.

RIVER BIRCH QUICK FACTS

GREEN ALDER QUICK FACTS

Zone: 3a
Zone: 1a
Height: 12 m (39 ft)
Height: 7 m (23 ft)
Spread: 5 m (16 ft)
Spread: 3 m (10 ft)
Moisture: normal, wet
Moisture: any
Light: full sun
Light: any
Catkins: yes
Catkins: yes
Bark: dark gray-brown or pinkish-brown and scaly
Growth rate: fast
Growth rate: fast
Life span: medium
Life span: short
Suckering: low
Suckering: high


In row spacing: 0.9 m (3 ft)
Between row spacing: 5 m (16 ft)



Other Names: black birch, water birch
Other Names: mountain alder, sitka alder