Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: River Birch
Betula nigra 'Fox Valley'

Family: Betulaceae (beh-tyoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Betula (BET-yoo-luh) (Info)
Species: nigra (NY-gruh) (Info)
Cultivar: Fox Valley
Additional cultivar information: (aka Little King)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Dec 11, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a handsome smaller version of the River Birch that I think will get to about 15 feet high, which is still rather small for a tree. I believe it was first discovered in a large, diverse nursery called King Nursery that was in Montgomery, Illinois, in the Fox River Valley of Kane County, near Aurora.

Positive jrbkwisatz On Jun 29, 2005, jrbkwisatz from Westchester, IL wrote:

I planted an 8 ft Fox Valley River Birch last August. It is beautiful and doing well as it has grown to almost 13 feet, but I notice the small branches growing from the middle of several trunks seem to be drooping. Is this because of the seed pods that may be weighing down the thin young branches??

Neutral smiln32 On Jan 4, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This cultivar grows best in full sun to partial shade and in soil that is relatively moist. It does not tolerate drought conditions at all. This cultivar is much smaller (dwarf variety) reaching only up to 20' at maturity.

Bark is very attractive (coloration and peeling). The tree shape is mostly oval and foliage is not particularly dense. It is native to the U.S. Usually the tree produces multiple trunks.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chicago, Illinois
Saint Charles, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Wheaton, Illinois
Burlington, Kentucky
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Newmarket, New Hampshire
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Dallas, Texas
Lexington, Virginia

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