The river birch is a fast-growing shade tree, usually multi-stemmed, that is very popular in landscape use. It has the beautiful exfoliating bark that is the hallmark of many birches, but it is one of the most adaptable species, with better tolerance for poorly drained soils and warm conditions. The river birch has a rounded compact form and semi-arching branches. The white bark peels back to reveal salmon-red inner layers. The medium-to-dark green leaves are 1 to 3 inches long, oval-shaped with serrated edges, and are white on the underside.