Providence Academy is pleased to offer your family one of three (3) River Birch trees that have been grown by our own Dr. Boldt and PA Upper School students. These trees were part of the Soil Application Research Program (SARP) conducted by Dr. Boldt and her students over the last four years. Students involved in SARP conduct research on how soil applications being developed by Precision Organics affect soil microbial communities and plant growth. The trees are being offered at no cost to you, they simply need a new home and need to be planted in the next two weeks. Planting guidelines will be provided with the trees.

To claim one of these special trees, please email Mr. Josh Anderson, Manager of Annual Giving and Special Assistant to the Headmaster, by Wednesday, October 15. If more than three families request one of the available trees we will draw names to determine who receives a tree. 

Details of the type of tree are listed below:

Height: 60 feet
Spread: 45 feet
Hardiness Zone: 3b
Other Names: Red Birch
Ornamental Features:
River Birch has dark green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding yellow in the fall. It features subtle chartreuse catkins in early spring. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The peeling brown bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.
Landscape Attributes:
River Birch is a deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage. This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may ‘bleed’ sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. It has no significant negative characteristics. River Birch is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade
  • Accent

Plant Characteristics:
River Birch will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 45 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, preferring to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner-city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder zones.

This species is native to parts of North America.

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