Birch - ready to prune?

Birchbark

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Hi

I have had this question on my mind all season and thought i would out it to this forum's esteemed members, as my birches are really shooting out.

Can you prune while the branches are still green or should i wait until they harden and become brown?

I have included some photos of the new growth on my silver and downy birches, one of which is the whole tree in case anyone had any burning ideas on how to progress it.

Thanks!
 

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BobbyLane

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you can prune deciduous trees anytime you like. a lot depends on your goals for the tree.
 

Birchbark

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you can prune deciduous trees anytime you like. a lot depends on your goals for the tree.
Oh ye sorry, i meant if i wanted to build branch ramification so the sub/branch divides to create more sub branches.
 

BobbyLane

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thats usually done earlier. you could still chance it and give the new shoots protection from frost over winter. i have pruned trees at this time and not given any protection at all.
in re to birch the article recommend pruning only in active growth. maybe have a read if not sure what youre doing.
 
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Strange how they explode with growth this time of year. My two silver birches were suddenly very lanky, so a few weeks ago I pruned them to two nodes. They are just now pushing new growth in response. I would be concerned about pruning now, because you could have new growth in September that will not have enough time to harden off for winter. Especially this species, which already has a reputation for dropping branches it decides it doesn't like for whatever reason.

At this point, I would probably hold off and prune in the late winter/early spring.
 

Shibui

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Birches here are prone to branches dying back when pruned in winter. Frustrating to have to continually start new branches. I have been told that is less likely when they are trimmed in the growing season.
Most trees produce more replacement shoots when slightly older shoots are trimmed. Very young shoots that are pruned may only give 1 or maybe 2 new shoots so letting the branches mature a bit usually increases ramification more quickly.
 

rodeolthr

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I would concur with @Shibui in that my experience is that I can prune them throughout the growing season and they will continually put out new growth. But often, the branches pruned in winter simply die off.
 

Potawatomi13

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I would concur with @Shibui in that my experience is that I can prune them throughout the growing season and they will continually put out new growth. But often, the branches pruned in winter simply die off.
One more hint maybe helpful is to leave stub at least 3/8-1/2 inch long above living bud/node. After stub dried up and new growth happens then can remove dead stub. As mentioned do this in growing season.
 

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