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?
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.
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
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.
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