I have two river birch trees - Betula nigra - in my gardens. Nothing special about them other than I love the nice airy canopy they provide. I love the peely bark and the variation in color on the trunk. I also love the nicely shaped leaves that look like they are fluttering, even when there is very little wind.
In the forest, birch trees thrive on cool, moist soils. Their very shallow root system makes them sensitive to even short periods of drought or heating of the soil, thus they grow poorly on hot, dry soils. One of my trees is near the back corner of the house to help catch rain run-off from the roof and the other is at the bottom of our yard which is downhill from the house in an area that receives lots of water.
I am a married mother of 3 grown daughters and I have 2 granddaughters and 1 grandson. I currently have a gardening column in the Sunday's Advocate Messenger and I freelance for Kentucky Monthly magazine and Examiner.com.