River Birch Tree Facts. My birches have borers and there is nothing I can do to save the tree. Paper birch starts life with a brown trunk that whitens as it ages. I'm very upset - I feel as though they've ruined my tree. The river birch, ideal for planting in damp soil, a fast-growing tree with shaggy light brown to creamy bark, heavily peeling in layers when young. Its attractive bark is especially striking in the winter when the rest of the tree is bare. Prune white birch trees by pruning at the right time, choosing the proper branches to prune and cutting carefully. Neither tree requires regular pruning. Learn about river birch, also called black birch or red birch, many cultivars of graceful, fast-growing, upright, open, deciduous trees of wetland forests. see more; Synonyms Betula rubra. Other than that, the sap that is dripping from the cut branches is harmless. I have tons of natural clump birches that were not planted and they are more resistant to borers. They provide great shade, but the clean-up of the debris they produce is not worth it. Cutting back river birch tree to trunks birch pruning winter care and fertilizing hawks landscape inc birch pruning winter care and fertilizing hawks landscape inc dwarf river birch betula nigra little king pruning river birch home garden information center tree care spring pruning tips cm s outdoor solutions group. That said, planting a birch on the dry prairies is not a practical thing to do. Trees typically live 50 -75 years. River birch is best pruned after August 1. A: River birch tree sap is known to cause babies to be born naked and to make your hair turn gray when you’re old. River birch is a medium to tall tree, growing 60-80 feet at maturity and about 40 wide. In USDA zones 8b and 9a, river birch needs regular irrigation to survive the heat. A landscaper (16 years ago) suggested these (and I didn't argue since I love the bark and look) and planted them about 10 feet from our screened porch and patio on a small hillside. River Birch trees are known for their graceful drooping limbs, foliage, and beautiful peeling bark. The time to make a long lasting effect on the form and structure of the plant is when the tree is young. Birch – Pruning, Winter Care and Fertilizing. Genus Betula can be deciduous trees or shrubs, usually colouring well in autumn and often with striking white, pink, or peeling brown bark; separate male and female catkins open before or with the leaves in spring . The lovely birch -- except for one tough native, the black or river birch, all birch are swamp trees. It is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture **plant hardiness zones 4 through 9a**. I've done quite a bit of research and found that river birch "bleed" when pruned in the late winter/early spring, so it is suggested that pruning be done in late spring/early summer. When to Prune. A fast-growing shade tree, river birch (_Betula nigra_) is the most widely adapted of the birch trees. When pruning birches including dwarf river birches, it is best to avoid Spring and Fall pruning when the sap is flowing as this will stain the branches and trunks by “bleeding” sap. River birch trees are pretty immune to most of these assaults and therefore can be pruned at other times of the year. River birch trimming? A few branches can be removed in summer, if needed, after the trees leaves have reached full size. Advertisement. They "bleed" sap quite freely when cut in the spring. Crossing or crowded branches should be removed. While this is usually not a problem for the tree, it can be disconcerting for the owner when sap drips on outdoor furniture, walkways and people. The birch tree is popular among homeowners due to its beautiful bark, modest size and graceful branches. The White Birch tree is characterized by its beautiful white bark (when mature) and drooping branches, whereas the River Birch tree has a brownish-red exfoliating bark and pyramidal to rounded … 14 years ago. The lower branches are too low to walk under. It is the hybrids that I purchased and planted that are most susceptible to this type of infestation. Dark glossy green leaves, yellow in autumn. When it comes to silver birch trees, these are best pruned between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. They can also grow to over 50 feet tall and like most trees they need TLC. These trees should be pruned in fall, after the leaves have dropped. The river birch is a popular tree for river banks and wet parts of the garden. Birch trees are good-looking plants and great supporters of wildlife. Some of the information I read mentioned that River Birches will bleed sap profusely if they're cut at the wrong time, seems to me that Spring is the time to avoid pruning. River birches are fast growing shade trees and they can easily grow 2 to 3 feet per year. I also admit that I'm not an expert. Pruning silver and river birch trees near house. Plants of the characteristics of these varieties of birches, which can reach great heights, in principle are not recommended to be planted too close to a house. The birch tree is grown throughout Canada and the continental United States. Prune at the right time. These trees have their own charms, however. The benefits of birches outweigh the slight deficiencies mentioned above. The best time to trim River Birch is in the late summer - fall. Some have brances from the ground up, two of which have the smaller trees with them. I have 6 river birches in my back yard ranging from 7 to about 10ft. I'm a complete novice to pruning/trimming. Among the tools you can use are the following: Hand Pruning Shears: Stems up to half inch in diameter can be pruned with hand shears. I have 3 clumps of 3 river birch trees. The bog birch is short and shrubby and grows in wetlands. Pruning is best carried out in late spring, summer, or fall to avoid any heavy sap from flowing from cuts. Birch trees experience the same pressure build up in their roots when exposed to the same temperatures as Maples, thus, when cut in late winter, they too will “bleed” heavy amounts of sap. This shade tree has highly symmetrical branching and upright pyramidal to upright oval form. Unlike the white-barked birches, river birch’s tolerance of bronze birch borer, birch leaf miner, and drought and heat are part of why it has become the birch of choice for landscaping around the country, and the only choice for the south. River birch tolerates low soil oxygen, flooding, and clay soil, but needs moist conditions. So, remember to prune Birch the same time as you prune Maples, in June and July. The following are some useful tips on how to prune a birch tree. The only thing with pruning river birch is it will perpetuate pruning on at least a bi-annual cycle and even annually if it’s happy. Keep reading to learn more river birch tree facts, such as river birch tree care and effectively using river birch trees … Always wear eye protection and follow safety guidelines to prevent injury while pruning the trees. Birch trees should be pruned during the dormant months of late winter to early spring. If you wait until later, the cuts will needlessly bleed copious amounts of sap. Pruning cuts at this time will ooz sap from the cuts, but this will not harm the tree. Spring or early summer pruning helps with that, at least from what I’ve observed here. This tree is about 8 - 10 years old and has never been pruned like this before. To avoid this, only prune birches when they are in a non-growing dormant phase. Just wanted to make sure it was ok to snip off 9 or 10 lower-hanging branches, don't want any long-term damage to the tree. Pruning birch trees limits insect infestations and promotes longer life. Birch Tree Benefits. With a mature height upwards of 60 feet and a rapid growth rate this shade tree is a great option for large homes. Be sure you have plenty of space for this tree as they can spread to 40 feet across. Leave at least 75 percent of the tree intact when pruning. There are several tools available for pruning a birch tree, you will have to choose between one or the other depending on several factors, the most important is the age (height) of the birch. The trunk typically grows about 2 feet in diameter but occasionally will be much wider. Two seem to have not grown leaves on the top approx. This picture from our front yard, shows a cluster of River Birch trees in the background. The wood is medium to lightweight and quite sturdy. River Birch- Pruning. The same rules apply to Birches for developmental pruning as they do to Maples. A: You can prune any time after the leaves fall and before next February. For safety reasons it is preferable to leave a certain distance to avoid the possible fall of branches on the roof. Avoid early spring pruning while the tree's sap is running. The other is a drought-resistant large shrub called black birch or river birch, which can tolerate serious drought. The river birch tree often is used for landscaping due to its graceful drooping limbs and attractive color. Pruning a River Birch Tree . And late spring and early summer are when bronze birch borers are out in full force and may take advantage of fresh pruning wounds. Hi Heather-The sap moves freely in the birch tree during the winter and early spring. They love it where they are, but in the last few years they have become HUGE. Silver Birch Tree Pruning Times. Maple and birch trees are famous for the copious amounts of sap they bleed after being pruned in late winter. River birch in this area responds quite well to reduction as long as the cut size is kept at a size that the tree can seal up fairly quickly. Height 20m (65ft). European white birch is a fast-growing, graceful tree with creamy white bark that peels to reveal darker skin beneath. Established trees do not require regular pruning. The tree requires an acid soil, otherwise it becomes chlorotic. In addition, summer pruning is discouraged due to birch borer and other pests. River birch is hardy, grows rapidly, but tends to be short-lived (30 to 40 years) in many urban settings, possibly due to inadequate water supply. pruning river birch. When and how should I fertilize it? Two of the most common birch tree species in the Northeast are the River Birch and White Birch. Branches that rub together should be removed. White birches should be pruned before the first day of May or after the first day of August. Is it safe to have the trees trimmed during the late summer or fall. The limbs are so long, they are nearly touching the ground. River Birch- Pruning. If you really want one, plant it, water it and water it again, don't stop watering, ever. They are not affected. Almost done A late August or early September pruning is probably best as the leaves have produced most of the energy for the tree that they will produce and the hottest most stressful part of summer is past. Family Betulaceae . These adaptable trees are easy to grow and no maintenance once they are established. The vital sap will seep out of the pruning cut and diminish the tree’s overall health. Q: When should I prune my river birch tree? River Birch Trees. It is important to know from where in nature your tree's relatives come. The tree is fast growing, commonly to heights of 60 feet.. I would not fertilize them. 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