Silver Birch

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Ian Taylor, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Ian Taylor

    Ian Taylor Total Gardener

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,228
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Maintenance Manager, Oddfellows on the Park.
    Location:
    Cheadle Hulme
    Ratings:
    +2,750
    I have a Silver Birch in our garden its about 20 feet I was wondering if I could take out the top 5 feet, Has I don't want it to get to large, when is the best time to do this ?
     
  2. WeeTam

    WeeTam Total Gardener

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,062
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +4,254
    Id suggest end of jan/early feb. The sap will still be going back to the roots right now so not now.
    The side branches will grow quicker after the top has been removed giving a wider shorter tree. There will be lots of bushy new growth also from the trunk and branhes to make up for the bits chopped off.
    Dont seal the wounds let it bleed out so minimising infection.
    Thats my experience with topping our birch anyway.
     
  3. pete

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

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    29,663
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    joinery
    Location:
    Mid Kent
    Ratings:
    +33,072
    I'd do it any time now, I dont believe the sap actually goes back to the roots, sorry @WeeTam :)

    The sooner you do it, from now on the less chance of it bleeding next spring, which is not, IMO,a good idea, ask any one who has grown grapes.;)
     
  4. Scrungee

    Scrungee Well known for it

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    15,044
    Location:
    Central England on heavy clay soil
    Ratings:
    +25,239
    But Birch sap surely 'rises' in spring because that's when it can be tapped and used for winemaking.

    I've got quite a few SBs, mainly coppiced for pea stick production, although I've got at least one that I've topped (needed a length of trunk of a precise diameter), but sure I've read that pollarding SBs is not a good idea, can't remember reasons why so will have a look at that tree tomorrow.
     
  5. pete

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

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    29,663
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    joinery
    Location:
    Mid Kent
    Ratings:
    +33,072
    All trees have the sap rising in spring, it goes back to the roots all summer, by now its not going back anymore, the tree is shutting down.
    I agree, but the amount of sap taken needs to be controlled in order to not weaken the tree too much.
    Lots of cut branches oozing sap uncontrolled, in spring, will, I'm thinking have a bad effect on the tree long term.
     
  6. Ian Taylor

    Ian Taylor Total Gardener

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,228
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Maintenance Manager, Oddfellows on the Park.
    Location:
    Cheadle Hulme
    Ratings:
    +2,750
    thanks for all the replys will give it a try and see what happens
     
  7. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Messages:
    46,032
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired - Last Century!!!
    Location:
    Herts/Essex border. Zone 8b
    Ratings:
    +79,835
    I'd be inclined to cut it at an angle to help stop rot.

    Our silver birch had the top 20ft taken off, by the tree next to it, during the November 1987 'hurricane'. It didn't stop it from growing healthily and is at least 45ft high now.

    It was about 35ft at the time and the silver birch next to it (that was 60ft) clipped it pretty hard as it was uprooted. We were pretty lucky that it didn't do too much damage when it came down. For those of you that know my garden, the birch was alongside the remaining one which is down near the herb garden and veg plot. It missed the greenhouse by 2ft!
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice