Bring the Outdoors Home

River Birch ‘Cully’ HERITAGE | Plant Profile

River Birch ‘Cully’ (Betula nigra) is often sold under the name HERITAGE. These are fast growing trees that are coveted for the peeling bark. These trees can be grown either with a single trunk or multi-stemmed. In nature, they are found in flood plains, swamps, and along streams. The dark green leaves are leathery to the touch and turn yellow in the fall.

‘Cully’ prefers average fertility soils with medium to wet moisture content in full sun to part shade. These trees can grow in semi-aquatic conditions, but can also tolerate dryer soils. They will need regular deep watering and tolerate clay soils. Pruning is not required and should be avoided in spring.

River Birch’s tolerance of wet soils make them an ideal option for low spots or to absorb water from natural springs. They are a beautiful addition to pond or river banks. The peeling bark brings winter interest to any landscape.


River Birch 'Cully' Characteristics

Much of the interest of 'Cully' comes from the peeling bark. The outer layer can be anywhere from a salmon color to brown which exfoliates to reveal a white interior. When grown with a single trunk, the shape is naturally pyramidal or rounded. When grown with multiple stems, the shape becomes more irregular. Muti-stemmed shapes are considered to be healthiest for this cultivar.

River Birch prefers the cold weather of the North American north and does not survive well in the hot summers of the southeast. When they are weakened by heat, they become susceptible to the birch borer which can kill the tree. 'Cully' is particularly resistant to birch borer and leaf spot, making them a viable and low maintenance option in the Pittsburgh climate.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 4 - 9
40.00 - 70.00
40.00 - 60.00'
Bloom Time
April - May
Medium - Wet
Full Sun - Part Shade
Deer Resistant?