A very hearty, native & popular tree for Minnesota.
The River Birch is most common sold as a Clump form, but can also be purchased as a single stem tree. The River Birch loves water, so is very tolerant of heavy, excessively wet soil. It likes full sun. It is a very fast growing, large tree at maturity. The bark is off white to brown in color and has a peely look to it.
The River Birch has a lot of roots. When it is transplanted it requires a lot of water to compensate for the root that was cut off for transplanting. The picture below illustrates how much root reestablishes in a short time. This tree was dug & burlapped in early May. The tree was placed in a holding display area & watered regularly. A customer purchased the tree in late August. The tree had to be re tree spaded for transplanting purposes. You can see that the tree grew approximately 2 feet of root in those few months.
If you have a River Birch in your landscape water frequently. I believe it is impossible to overwater. A sign the tree wants more water is leaves turning yellow and falling off during summer months. In the fall the leaves normally turn a yellow color and shed.Always plan for the future on this tree and others. Give them plenty of room to grow.