This native shrub is common in western and southern Illinois, but uncommon through most of the rest of the state. It prefers moist conditions but will tolerate normal soils just fine. Betula nigra (River Birch) is a very common landscaping tree of northern Illinois because if it's interesting bark, unique shape, and wide tolerance of soil conditions.
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Photo 1: By SEWilco (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
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