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Pruning a birch, advice required

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Concrete_Garden, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Concrete_Garden

    Concrete_Garden Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,

    Moved house six months ago, the garden is rather....mature I suppose you could say. There is birch tree which dominates the garden.

    I know little about trees and looking after them. The tree create a lot of shade, and I looking for advice on how I can reduce it size without ruining it's aesthetics to prevent it from growing huge. I have no idea how big it could get. Picture attached.

    Anybody have advice to offer?
     

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  2. Tetters

    Tetters Total Gardener

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    Good morning @Concrete_Garden and welcome to the forums.
    Although I have topped out a few of my trees, I wouldn`t prune back any of the Birch trees (and I have grown several of these here) The Birch is likely to suffer if the top is taken out, and seems to rot easily if you do. As the shade from this tree is quite dappled, you can actually grow a lot of stuff under it - not like heavy shade from other trees.
    So, I would leave well alone and enjoy your Birch as it is. :)
     
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    • silu

      silu gardening easy...hmmm

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      Welcome to Gardener's Corner.Your tree looks pretty nice to me. From the look of the bark it is Birch Jacquemontii having the lovely white bark. It will look lovely in the winter when the branches are bare. I would leave it alone but if you desperately want to reduce the tree's size please don't do it now (bad for the tree and maybe there might be a bird nesting in it). Birch are best pruned in late summer/autumn as if you prune now the tree will "bleed" a lot which will weaken it.
       
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      • Tom Saunders

        Tom Saunders Apprentice Gardener

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        Yes as stated above it is a paper bark birch (betula utilis var jaquemontii) and looks like a healthy specimen aswel. So i would leave any pruning until dormant season now, it would not benefit well with a crown reduction as will grow denser with such pruning, if pruning must be done i would recomend a formative prine and a slight thin of upto 10 percent.
        Hope i can be of help.
         
      • WeeTam

        WeeTam Total Gardener

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        Ive pruned a silver birch and its been fine. 40 year old tree,healthy,topped and thinned. The next spring it produced masses of new growth near to the trunk on all branches. This new growth subsequently fell off leaving a more airy tree in good health.
        I would prune in late autumn as the sap is going back to the roots or in January. Otherwise it will bleed badly weakening or even killingnthe tree.
         

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