Betula nigra ‘BNMTF’ (DuraHeat)
('BNMTF' Dura-Heat, River Birch)
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Commonly known as river birch, Betula nigra is a vigorous, fast-growing, medium-sized tree. DURA-HEAT is a somewhat smaller cultivar that features, inter alia, better creamy white bark color, better tolerance to summer heat, better insect and disease resistance and superior foliage to the species. It typically grows 30-40′ tall as a single trunk or multi-trunked tree. Multi-trunked trees form a more irregularly shaped crown and are usually considered to be the superior growth habit for this tree. Exfoliating salmon to cinnamon bark reveals creamy white inner bark that can be nearly as white as the white-barked birches. Leathery, diamond-shaped, dark green leaves (to 3″ long) with doubly toothed margins and tapered tips turn an undistinguished yellow in fall. Tiny monoecious flowers are contained in drooping, brownish male catkins (2-3″ long) and insignificant, smaller, upright, greenish female catkins, both of which appear in spring on the same tree. Female flowers are followed by drooping cone-like fruits containing numerous small winged seeds that typically mature in late summer.