River Birch 'Fox Valley'

Betula nigra

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)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


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


Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 26, 2017, kimintransit from Lisle, IL wrote:

This is a comment on the nomenclature posted to this page. This cultivar should be listed as Betula nigra 'Little King' Fox Valley(R).

Fox Valley is the registered trademark.


On Dec 11, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A dwarf river birch.

Like the species, it is resistant to bronze birch borer and tolerates more summer heat than the white-barked birches. Like the species, the exfoliating bark is pale, creamy and pinkish.


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

It is a handsome smaller version of the River Birch that gets 10 to 15 feet high, which is still rather small for a tree. It is marketed by Chicgoland Grows. It was first discovered by Jim King in his large, diverse nursery called King Nursery that was in Montgomery, Illinois, in the Fox River Valley of Kane County, south of Aurora.


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??


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.