The birch, in the betula genus, is a deciduous tree or shrub which prefers wet riparian areas. Birches are usually found along creeks and can come in many forms, from tall trees to shrubs with small leaves. Many have beautiful white bark, as in European White Birch. Although birches are beautiful in nature, they often do poorly in landscapes, especially in hot dry areas. it is sad to see many dead white birches in davis because people dont understand how to care for them. If you want a birch be prepared to give it lots of water. And dont plant it on a little mound.. it looks cool but tends to cause them to die becuase it is harder for them to reach water. Remember, birches naturally grow right next to creeks, so keep them always wet.