Another “big silver birch” question

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Sheikh, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. Sheikh

    Sheikh Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,
    I have a tall silver birch (i believe) tree in my garden. Its leaning a bit towards neighbour’s so concerned that it may fall over at some point given that these are shallow rooted trees.

    I was thinking of cutting the top 10-20 foot, is that sensible thing to do or should i leave it alone?
     

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  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    I dont think the lean is that bad really.
    Might be a good idea to top it as they do get big.

    Not something I would try doing myself, it could cause damage to the fence or the neighbours property when it falls.
     
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    • WeeTam

      WeeTam Total Gardener

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      Looks fine to me. A hard tree to prune because they just dont look right afterwards. Also rot can set in.
      Happened to ours but it was huge. Id leave it.
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        One was pruned badly local to me and its dead now.
        I tend to think you need to do it at this end of the year as they do bleed if cut nearer the spring.
         
      • shiney

        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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        I would leave it alone as it does not really have much of a lean to it. Although shallow rooted the roots spread very wide and give quite a stable base to the tree.

        Birch trees have quite an open structure with small leaves so is quite resistant to being affected by strong winds. It normally takes something as strong as a hurricane to topple them (happened to us in the hurricane of 1987).

        Pruning birch is not normally recommended as it can bleed prolifically and allow disease and boring insects into it. Light pruning can be done but should only be done on branches less than an inch diameter, which will not make a difference for your purpose.

        We still have a 70ft high birch that is a joy to see but a nuisance with the amount of leaves it drops and the seeds that get everywhere. It's worth the nuisance :blue thumb:
         
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        • hailbopp

          hailbopp Gardener

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          Personally I think your nice tree would look awful if you removed a large amount off it and you risk disease having access through the resulting wounds. I have various Silver Birch perhaps almost twice the size of yours, one being quite close to my house but will just let nature take it’s course. If you are really concerned then I would fell the tree rather than severely lop it, the latter option seldom results in a pleasing outcome.
           
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          • Sheikh

            Sheikh Apprentice Gardener

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            Thank you all for your prompt responses and guidance. Based on the census, i will leave it alone.


            it is very windy today and with sunny intervals as well, i can see the seeds flying around and it looks like rain drizzle
             
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            • joolz68

              joolz68 Total Gardener

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              My neighbour has one leaning my way right next to the fence,ive only a small garden and them seeds are annoying when trying to have a cuppa :heehee: but one of the lower branches are is hanging over and blocking sun to a garden at back of us,they want me to chop it or ask if they can but now ive read your comments are we best leaving the matter alone? thanksx
               
            • shiney

              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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              It would depend on the thickness of the branch. If it's not too thick then it can be cut. If it is thick then it may be better to get a professional opinion. Either way the owner of the tree needs to be asked first whether they would do it.

              If it's an expensive job then they should be asked to pay for it or towards it (depends on how much someone wants it cut). You're entitled to cut anything that overhangs your garden and must offer it back to the owner. The usual situation is that either they want it (not very likely) or if they don't want it, you can cut it and lay it carefully on their land (doing no damage to their property/plants) or get rid of it yourself.
               
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              • joolz68

                joolz68 Total Gardener

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                Thanks @shiney,i dont think itl be too thick the tree doesnt look a big as sheikhs,i just wouldnt want to harm the tree to gain them to dry the washing faster,there isnt a lot on the back hedges here between the houses and the bats need all the hedge growth/trees they can use xx
                 
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