The Q&A Archives: River Birch Growth

Question: I am considering planting a river birch in a confined area, that is, it is surrounded on all sides by my house and a brick sidewalk. How do the roots grow on these trees; i.e. down or on top of the ground?? Also, what is the typical annual growth and lifetime growth of the river birch?

Answer: River birch is a relatively fast growing (easily over a foot a year) and large tree (ultimately between 40 to 70 feet tall and spread about the same but roughly 30 to 40 feet in 20 years) with surface roots and requires a rich soil and a lot of water to do well (hence the name river birch) although it will tolerate a drier location. You might want to consider something else for the spot you described.

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