Growth and Yield
Information on growth and yield of river birch is scarce because most commercial use of the tree comes from natural stands, and wood of river birch is combined with that of other birches, beech, and maples (3). The clear bole is relatively short, with several ascending major branches arising from 4.6 to 6.1 m (15 to 20 ft) above the ground. Multiple stems, probably originating from stump sprouts, are common and tend to have basal sweep. In the lower Mississippi River Valley, isolated trees attain heights of 30.5 m (100 ft) and diameters of 150 cm (60 in). Average merchantable size, however, is 15.2 to 24.4 m (50 to 80 ft) tall and 61 to 91 cm (24 to 36 in) in d.b.h. In Ohio, 58-year-old river birches grown in plantations average 23 to 41 cm (9 to 16 in) in d.b.h. and 15.5 m (51 ft) tall. Trees of the same age grown in the open with no competition from other trees are 58 to 76 cm (23 to 30 in) in d.b.h. and 15.2 to 19.8 m (50 to 65 ft) tall (11).
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