Native to northern and southwestern Indiana; Absent elsewhere unless planted. The distinctive feature of this birch is its bark. On young branches it is smooth and red-brown. Older branches and bark have orange, peeling bark. The tree naturally occurs along rivers in northern and southwestern Indiana. It is now popular in the horticultural trade for its unusual bark and small, multi-trunked shape. The river birch is useful for planting in sites where soil is wet for part of the year, but dry in the summer and fall.