Betula nigra 'Little King'

Fox Valley® River Birch

New growth

New growth


Family: Betulaceae

Genus: Betula

Parent: Betula nigra

Category: Tree - Evergreen

Zones: 4 to 9

Size: 10' tall and 12' wide after 20 years

Growth Rate: Slow

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Dwarf rounded version staying compact and mounded. Interesting foliage, dense with bright green new growth. With maturity has the same exfoliating bark of the species.


Originally discovered in the 1970s by Jim King of King Nursery, Oswego IL and introduced in 1991 as part of the Chicagoland Grows® Plant Introduction Program.

My Experience: 

I purchased a 1-gallon plant from Piccadilly Farms in May 2008 and potted it up to a 3-gallon until I planted it in the ground in summer 2009. In the pot it struggled through the summer, losing it's leaves and browning due to drought stress. Once in the ground it has flourished. The winter form is rather stubby but nevertheless interesting.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner