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Birch trees

Birch trees can be used as shade or ornamental trees. The roots tend to spread over an area of about twice the tree's height. Planting a birch tree too close to your home, sidewalks, streets or pathways will limit the tree's growth and the roots could damage your property.

Birch trees need a lot of moisture. The best way to water your birch tree is to place a soaker hose upside down around the perimeter of the canopy or drip line of the tree and let the water run very slowly for several hours. The water should flow slowly enough to filter into the soil and not run off.  This watering should be applied to your birch tree every two or three weeks, and more frequently during hot and/or dry and windy weather. Reduce the amount of water in September and October and then provide one deep watering just before Halloween. This will help to provide adequate moisture in spring. It is important that adequate springtime moisture be present because the sap of a birch tree begins flowing in early April, at a time when there is still snow or frost in some areas and watering the lawn is the furthest thing from our mind.

An evergreen fertilizer such as 30-10-10 may be applied in mid to late May. Acidified evergreen fertilizers are suggested as birch trees prefer a slightly acidic soils.

Birch trees should only be pruned in late spring after the leaves have reached their full size. If you prune your birch tree when the leaves are still growing, the tree will bleed sap depleting the tree of moisture and sugar.  It is not recommended to prune birch trees in late summer because, although there will be no bleeding immediately following pruning, the non- healed cuts will begin to bleed as soon as sap begins to flow in spring. Pretty much the only remedy for a bleeding birch tree is to keep it well watered so the moisture loss is minimized. Commercially available pruning paints will not even slow the flow of sap from a bleeding wound. Since they tend to have an acceptable form, most birch trees require only a very small amount of pruning.  

A birch tree that is well watered and properly pruned will rarely show problems associated with the attack of pests.

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Heritage® Birch

The Heritage River Birch tree, Betula nigra, 'Heritage', is the most prominent of all the cultivars of River Birch trees. It is faster growing, has larger, glossier leaves and is less prone to leaf spot than the other species. The bark exfoliates on younger trees and opens to a lighter, salmon-colored trunk. The exposed inner bark is gray-brown to cinnamon-brown to reddish brown. This tree is handsome without leaves because of its graceful silhouette and exfoliating bark.

Paper Birch

The Paper Birch tree, Betula papyrifera, is also known as a Paper Birch, White Birch, Canoe Birch. Paper Birch trees are the most widely distributed (east to west) of all North American birches. The graceful form and attractive white bark of paper birch make it a prized species for ornamental planting and landscaping around homes and public buildings The trunk generally divides into several arching branches. This deciduous tree tolerates alkaline soils well. Paper birch are fast growing trees.

River Birch

The River Birch tree, Betula Nigra, is a very handsome tree for estates, parks, golf courses and any other large areas. It displays a light reddish brown cinnamon bark that peels and flakes to give that beautiful look that the birch family is noted for. Plant as a specimen, or as a windbreak, plant 20’ apart in the row. The River Birch trees are beautiful in the summer and winter, are widely adaptable, and heat tolerant.





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