Tell Me About Your Birch

RyanFrye

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I recently purchased a Paper Bark Birch. Anyone have any experience with this type of Birch?
 

TimD

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I just wired up my branches and will work on the top next once it fills in a bit.
Love em.
 

RyanFrye

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Thanks, this is good to know. The one I have now is only about 1" diameter at the base. I trimmed it back in late winter before it leafed out (that's around February here in FL) and I just pruned the new shoots yesterday. Do they like a lot of water? I noticed that some of the leave's edges were turning brown. Maybe being too dry caused it?

Have you both had any experience working with the roots? Mine is still in an oversized nursery can. I also have access to some large Paper Bark Birch (6" - 8" Diameter). When it comes time to reduce the root ball I want to know how drastic (or how cautious) I can be. Any thoughts?
 

bonsai barry

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Thanks, this is good to know. The one I have now is only about 1" diameter at the base. I trimmed it back in late winter before it leafed out (that's around February here in FL) and I just pruned the new shoots yesterday. Do they like a lot of water? I noticed that some of the leave's edges were turning brown. Maybe being too dry caused it?

Have you both had any experience working with the roots? Mine is still in an oversized nursery can. I also have access to some large Paper Bark Birch (6" - 8" Diameter). When it comes time to reduce the root ball I want to know how drastic (or how cautious) I can be. Any thoughts?

With my limited experience I wouldn't want to comment on cutting the roots back. I think they use a fair amount of water (aren't they found near water sources in the wild?). I water my well nearly every day in a fast draining soil.
 

discusmike

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I do know that some birches,if not all,get bad die back from pruning,sometimes when you trunk chop the tree will abandone the trunk,and start throwing suckers from the ground everywhere.Ive been told that Nick Lenz book,bonsai from the wild,goes into detail how to prune and chop birch without the bad die back.This is why you do not see alot of speciman birch,they are also prone to diseases.Good luck.
 

RyanFrye

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I do know that some birches,if not all,get bad die back from pruning,sometimes when you trunk chop the tree will abandone the trunk,and start throwing suckers from the ground everywhere.Ive been told that Nick Lenz book,bonsai from the wild,goes into detail how to prune and chop birch without the bad die back.This is why you do not see alot of speciman birch,they are also prone to diseases.Good luck.

Hey, thanks for the tips. I'll update this post with the tree when it's worth posting.
 

Kirk

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I collected two River Birch this past winter out of fairly dense, clay swamp soil. One was approx. 1.5" caliper and the larger was approx. 2.5". Both trunks were cut back to stumps leaving several inches in anticipation of some die-back. They have thrown buds/shoots all of the way up to the cut. Thus far they have been extremely hardy and happy.

Kirk
 

RyanFrye

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Wow! Thanks Everyone. I have received more tips and insights than I initially thought I would. This some great stuff.
 

TimD

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I just started reducing the roots this year. I plan to spread it out over 3 or 4 years. It was in a large container 4gal.
I just cut back a few of the larger roots, not to extreme. Got some bonsai soil in there.

I try to keep it moist and fert on the heavy side and have had a really good push of foliage.
 

greerhw

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She"s ok. drives me a little nuts sometimes, oh wait, you said birch, sorry, my bad !

Harry
 

apisto

Seedling
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The trick with birch is keep pruning the new growth back after it extends to more than 2 leaves.

Be careful with them in the winter as the branches do suffer dieback especially if the winds have been high :(

Upside they grow new ones really really quickly :)

My collection started with birch and i continue to have a fair few of them just now

Most are the silver variety some the downy others who knows as they hybridise profusely in the wild
 

RyanFrye

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The trick with birch is keep pruning the new growth back after it extends to more than 2 leaves.

Be careful with them in the winter as the branches do suffer dieback especially if the winds have been high :(

Upside they grow new ones really really quickly :)

My collection started with birch and i continue to have a fair few of them just now

Most are the silver variety some the downy others who knows as they hybridise profusely in the wild

This is good to know. Thank you.
 

head_cutter

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Just my 2 cents here. Paper Birch can be beautiful because of the bark but, as was posted earlier (but maybe not in Florida) will have a tendency to suffer die-back and attract every disease you can think of. I had a beautiful one that I'd worked for years then, we had an attack of borers, they went at the tree like the D-Day landing. Even with active pest control it was dead in a month.

Hope yours does a lot better.

Bob
 

RyanFrye

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Just my 2 cents here. Paper Birch can be beautiful because of the bark but, as was posted earlier (but maybe not in Florida) will have a tendency to suffer die-back and attract every disease you can think of. I had a beautiful one that I'd worked for years then, we had an attack of borers, they went at the tree like the D-Day landing. Even with active pest control it was dead in a month.

Hope yours does a lot better.

Bob

Thanks Bob,

Actually so far this season the leaves have looked worthless. They have shrivled on the edges and turned brown. I haven't even started messing with the roots. I'm counting paper bark birch out for bonsai...it's going in my new yard.
 

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