‘Summer Cascade’ Is A Very Different Weeping River Birch

Betula nigra 'Summer Cascade' At NC Arboretum in Asheville

Summer Cascade is a new weeping river birch (Betula nigra Summer Cascade™ (PPAF). Its pendulous branching habit represents a unique change for river birch. Its strong weeping nature creates a divine focal point planted next to a pond, deck, or patio.

Left unstaked, Summer Cascade’s strong pendulous habit naturally grows into a shrub mound or you can train it into a small to medium sized tree comprised of multiple layers of arching branches. New spring shoot growth is very flexible and can be easily twisted into many topiary forms.

Growth rate is very rapid. A 6 to 8 foot tall branched tree can be developed in one growing season from a rooted cutting. A 6-foot tree form, if left untended, may remain 6 feet tall, but broaden to 10-12 feet (width) over 10 years.

Calculating the eventual mature height and width of a Summer Cascade tree can be the job of a nurseryman or landscaper. To become a tree, it must be staked tall and trained in order to develop into a mature 35-50 foot majestic weeping river birch many years from now.

Summer Cascade is widely adapted to almost any site, including tolerances to high temperatures and wet soils. It grows best in an acidic soil (pH range of 5.0 – 6.2) with moderate soil fertility and ample soil moisture. Fall color may range from yellow to bronze. River birch’s showy bark is shaggy and dark tan in color. It is resistant to bronze birch borer and birch leaf miner.

Summer Cascade was introduced by John and Daniel Allen at Shiloh Nursery in Harmony, N.C.

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