If Trees Could Sing

Fletcher Bright & the River Birch

Fletcher Bright talks about the river birch and the benefits that trees provide.

River Birch Bark

The bark of the river birch peels off in sheets.

River Birch Leaves

This tree's leaves are oval, shiny green and toothed.

The most distinctive feature of the river birch is its peeling bark.

Fletcher Bright

Fletcher Bright was a Chattanooga-area bluegrass institution. He passed away peacefully on Christmas Day 2017 at age 86. But in 2014 he filmed this wonderful video with The Nature Conservancy. He had been playing fiddle for more than 70 years at that point. He led two bands: The Dismembered Tennesseans and The Fletcher Bright Fiddle Band. Fletcher founded the popular 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival in Chattanooga in 2007, and it has been going strong ever since. In 2017, he was honored with the Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Outside of his music career, Fletcher was also the CEO of the Fletcher Bright Company, a successful real estate firm.

River Birch Facts

  • Scientific name: Betula nigra
  • Range: the Southeast, Missouri through Georgia
  • Height: up to 80 ft.
  • Distinguishing feature: thin brown bark that peels away
  • Fall colors: yellow

You Can Take Care of Trees Like the River Birch

Mighty Cool Tree Fact

Did you know... trees reduce people's asthma in cities because of all the air pollution they absorb?


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