Arborists name 2002 Urban Tree of the Year

Betula nigra 'Heritage' (correctly known as 'Cully') has been named the 2002 Urban Tree of the Year by the Society of Municipal Arborists. In the United States, Heritage River Birch is an excellent Midwestern and Southern substitute for Paper Birch and other white-barked birches. The white-barked birches often develop heavy Bronze Birch Borer infestations with age.

The Heritage River Birch was selected as this year's Urban Tree of the Year by respondents to a survey. Although it was not a majority vote, the popularity of the Heritage River Birch comes from its tolerance to the urban environment; it's beautiful bark in summer and winter, and its specimen-like qualities.

The Society's Survey indicates that this year's runner-ups were Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry, Golden Rain Tree, Shawnee Brave Bald Cypress, and Allee Lacebark Elm. Once again, more than half of the trees in this year's survey are unknown to many of the respondents.

For more information on the Society of Municipal Arborists, visit

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