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. The limbs are so long, they are nearly touching the ground. I'm very upset - I feel as though they've ruined my tree. They love it where they are, but in the last few years they have become HUGE. When to Prune. The time to make a long lasting effect on the form and structure of the plant is when the tree is young. The vital sap will seep out of the pruning cut and diminish the tree’s overall health. My landscape service pruned my river birch by removing all of the lower branches up to about 6 feet off the ground. They provide great shade, but the clean-up of the debris they produce is not worth it. The wood is medium to lightweight and quite sturdy. I also admit that I'm not an expert. These trees have their own charms, however. Hi Heather-The sap moves freely in the birch tree during the winter and early spring. Pruning cuts at this time will ooz sap from the cuts, but this will not harm the tree. 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. Maple and birch trees are famous for the copious amounts of sap they bleed after being pruned in late winter. Birch trees should be pruned during the dormant months of late winter to early spring. These adaptable trees are easy to grow and no maintenance once they are established. Q: When should I prune my river birch tree? River birch tolerates low soil oxygen, flooding, and clay soil, but needs moist conditions. The birch tree is grown throughout Canada and the continental United States. I have tons of natural clump birches that were not planted and they are more resistant to borers. debi9217. The lovely birch -- except for one tough native, the black or river birch, all birch are swamp trees. Birch – Pruning, Winter Care and Fertilizing. The best time to trim River Birch is in the late summer - fall. The trunk typically grows about 2 feet in diameter but occasionally will be much wider. If you really want one, plant it, water it and water it again, don't stop watering, ever. The river birch tree often is used for landscaping due to its graceful drooping limbs and attractive color. The lower branches are too low to walk under. River birch trees are pretty immune to most of these assaults and therefore can be pruned at other times of the year. 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. In addition, summer pruning is discouraged due to birch borer and other pests. Height 20m (65ft). 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. It is important to know from where in nature your tree's relatives come. The birch tree is popular among homeowners due to its beautiful bark, modest size and graceful branches. River birch is best pruned after August 1. 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. River Birch Trees. 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. This shade tree has highly symmetrical branching and upright pyramidal to upright oval form. Crossing or crowded branches should be removed. White birches should be pruned before the first day of May or after the first day of August. When and how should I fertilize it? Prune white birch trees by pruning at the right time, choosing the proper branches to prune and cutting carefully. The benefits of birches outweigh the slight deficiencies mentioned above. The other is a drought-resistant large shrub called black birch or river birch, which can tolerate serious drought. The river birch is a popular tree for river banks and wet parts of the garden. They "bleed" sap quite freely when cut in the spring. see more; Synonyms Betula rubra. I have 3 clumps of 3 river birch trees. Paper birch starts life with a brown trunk that whitens as it ages. It is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture **plant hardiness zones 4 through 9a**. The tree requires an acid soil, otherwise it becomes chlorotic. River birch trimming? These trees should be pruned in fall, after the leaves have dropped. I have 6 river birches in my back yard ranging from 7 to about 10ft. The same rules apply to Birches for developmental pruning as they do to Maples. With a mature height upwards of 60 feet and a rapid growth rate this shade tree is a great option for large homes. River Birch Tree Facts. Pruning a River Birch Tree . The tree most of us think of as the ideal birch is the cut-leaf weeping birch from northern Europe. 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 … Leave at least 75 percent of the tree intact when pruning. Two of the most common birch tree species in the Northeast are the River Birch and White Birch. Pruning birch trees limits insect infestations and promotes longer life. European white birch is a fast-growing, graceful tree with creamy white bark that peels to reveal darker skin beneath. 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. Its attractive bark is especially striking in the winter when the rest of the tree is bare. 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. 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. Is it safe to have the trees trimmed during the late summer or fall. 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. 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. Trees typically live 50 -75 years. River birch is a medium to tall tree, growing 60-80 feet at maturity and about 40 wide. A fast-growing shade tree, river birch (_Betula nigra_) is the most widely adapted of the birch trees. Prune at the right time. Be sure you have plenty of space for this tree as they can spread to 40 feet across. pruning river birch. 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. This picture from our front yard, shows a cluster of River Birch trees in the background. 14 years ago. This tree is about 8 - 10 years old and has never been pruned like this before. Birch trees are good-looking plants and great supporters of wildlife. Birch Tree Benefits. Silver Birch Tree Pruning Times. So, remember to prune Birch the same time as you prune Maples, in June and July. Dark glossy green leaves, yellow in autumn. My birches have borers and there is nothing I can do to save the tree. Learn about river birch, also called black birch or red birch, many cultivars of graceful, fast-growing, upright, open, deciduous trees of wetland forests. To avoid this, only prune birches when they are in a non-growing dormant phase. Branches that rub together should be removed. In USDA zones 8b and 9a, river birch needs regular irrigation to survive the heat. A few branches can be removed in summer, if needed, after the trees leaves have reached full size. Neither tree requires regular pruning. Spring or early summer pruning helps with that, at least from what I’ve observed here. Avoid early spring pruning while the tree's sap is running. It is the hybrids that I purchased and planted that are most susceptible to this type of infestation. 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 . River Birch- Pruning. As it gets bigger it uses more water. Established trees do not require regular pruning. I'm a complete novice to pruning/trimming. A: You can prune any time after the leaves fall and before next February. The bog birch is short and shrubby and grows in wetlands. 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. Family Betulaceae . For safety reasons it is preferable to leave a certain distance to avoid the possible fall of branches on the roof. Other than that, the sap that is dripping from the cut branches is harmless. 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. 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. Always wear eye protection and follow safety guidelines to prevent injury while pruning the trees. River Birch trees are known for their graceful drooping limbs, foliage, and beautiful peeling bark. River birches are fast growing shade trees and they can easily grow 2 to 3 feet per year. 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. The tree is fast growing, commonly to heights of 60 feet.. The following are some useful tips on how to prune a 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. Some have brances from the ground up, two of which have the smaller trees with them. That said, planting a birch on the dry prairies is not a practical thing to do. Two seem to have not grown leaves on the top approx. They are not affected. If you wait until later, the cuts will needlessly bleed copious amounts of sap. River Birch- Pruning. 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. They can also grow to over 50 feet tall and like most trees they need TLC. I would not fertilize them. Keep reading to learn more river birch tree facts, such as river birch tree care and effectively using river birch trees … When it comes to silver birch trees, these are best pruned between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. 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. Pruning silver and river birch trees near house. Advertisement. Pruning is best carried out in late spring, summer, or fall to avoid any heavy sap from flowing from cuts. 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