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NC State Extension

‘Summer Cascade’ River Birch

(Betula nigra ‘Summer Cascade’ PP15,105 )

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‘Summer Cascade’ river birch (PPAF) is a new, weeping form of river birch that was discovered by John and Daniel Allen at Shiloh Nursery in Harmony, NC. The tree is unique in its pendulous habit, with graceful arching branches, that creates an ideal specimen plant or focal point in the landscape. Detailed characteristics of the tree include:

  • Habit. If untrained, the plant forms a mounded shrub or small tree with successive layers of arching branches. Alternatively, the plant can be staked/trained with a central trunk and pendulous branches. Flexible new growth also makes the tree ideal for use in topiary.
  • Growth Rate. Growth is fast. A 6 to 8 foot tall branched tree can be produced in one growing season from a rooted cutting.
  • Size. The original plant, grown free-form, is 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide after 10 years. When staked or trained, it can be grown as a tree to an undetermined height, but could potentially reach 30 feet or more.
  • Adaptability. Typical of river birch, ‘Summer Cascade’ is extremely adaptable and tolerates a wide range of growing conditions including high temperatures and wet soils.
  • Pest resistance. As with other river birch, ‘Summer Cascade’ is expected to have excellent resistance to Bronze Birch Borer and good resistance to Birch Leaf Miner.
  • Propagation. ‘Summer Cascade’ is easily propagated by softwood stem cuttings. Terminal and sub-terminal cuttings, from firm wood, can be rooted in high percentages (> 95%) when treated with 3,000 to 5,000 ppm indole butyric acid in 50% isopropyl alcohol.
  • Limitations. Frost cracks have been an issue in some areas where late spring frosts are common.

For information on licensing options contact:

North Carolina Foundation
Seed Producers, Inc.
8220 Riley Hill Rd.
Zebulon, NC 27597-8773

Tel: 919-269-5592
FAX: 919-269-5593

A portion of all royalties are donated to NC State University to support research.