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Silver birch trees - will they be too big for my garden?


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sinzo
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 8:38 pm    Post subject: Silver birch trees - will they be too big for my garden? Reply with quote

Hi everyone!

Need advice about a cluster of three silver birch at the bottom of my garden. They are currently around 14 foot tall and spaced about 5 feet apart. Betula utilis jacquemontii. I have read that they should grow to over 50 feet tall. Is there a practical way to restrict their height to the current 14 feet without damaging the health of each tree?

Any advice very much appreciated.

Sinzo



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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pic upside down but not to worry they should be approx 10 meters apart and yes they will be too big and they will suck up large amounts of water from your garden you will also have surface roots in time to come. Unfortunately there is no way to restrict them without stunting their growth, which will leave you with an awkward looking tree with branches that will break off in later years, I have a huge one in my garden I should get rid of it but I will let it grow for now.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would strongly advise against any pruning of them. In my experience it always ruins birches and they end up looking like giant, inverted toilet brushes.
It will be a good few years before they are big enough to be a problem. By then you will probably have disposed of the swings - the trees could make a lovely group, under planted with woodland-edge species..if they do become too big for their boots, consider removing a whole tree, one at a time..the timber is popular with wood turners and makes great fuel.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greengage wrote:
they should be approx 10 meters apart

just wondering as to the logic of this? they'll grow quite happily much closer together than that.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Good Guy..... years ago, where we lived, there were three beautiful birches in the next-door garden and when the house was sold, the elderly buyers brought in a " gardener" who cut the top six feet off the birches ( no idea why ) and it was shocking to see how those trees never again looked right or beautiful.....they just looked vandalised. Very sad.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have a birch in my garden which was planted in 1988, according to the previous owner. i reckon it's about 40 foot tall now. thankfully, it's at least 60 foot from the house.

i'd agree that birch lopped halfway up would look very silly...
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sinzo
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:15 pm    Post subject: Silver birch Reply with quote

Guys,

I really appreciate the advice. All in all, what do ye recommend I should do. They were only planted last year. Would it be easy enough to take them up and replace them with another smaller ornamental variety? They are about 50 feet from the house and I think that they may just more of be a problem later on if I leave them in situ. What would ye suggest if it was your garden?

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

Ollie
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Sive
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can find a good home for two of them, you could move them in the winter, but I'd be tempted to leave one as a focal point for your garden. The foliage is very light, it won't unduly shade you or your neighbours and it is a very beautiful tree, in all seasons.
That's just my personal opinion. A tree is indeed a thing of beauty and a gift to the next generation......
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john1412
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when they seed up by them self Iíve seen them growing within a a foot of each other, so I wouldn't worry too much about them being planted too close and if they and 50 feet away from your house the only think they might effect is that brick wall, in a number of years time you might see cracks forming on the wall from the roots underneath that as moved the walls foundations, other that that, i would let them grow away, I've been told they aren't a very long lived tree anyway, anywhere between 30-90 years, and if they get too big out with the chain saw, and plant tree new ones Smile
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I planted these three birches more than twenty years ago and I love them. Some years ago, i removed some lower branches to 'raise the canopy'. As you can see, they are quite close together - they are under-planted with snowdrops and crocus - next year there will be bluebells too, so I'll have my own tiny wood beside my newly constructed veg garden.
The trees are quite close to the house. This does not worry me; they cast a light shade; should any of them fall, the prevailing wind will blow them away from the house; as they are at the top of a high bank, the roots will not interfere with the foundations. I like to lie in bed and look at the tracery of their branches against the sky on winter weekend mornings! I've also discovered that the twiggy growth that occurs low on the trunks makes good pea-sticks.
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sinzo
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again lads. All your opinions are helping me to make an informed decision. I'm leaning towards keeping them. Especially after Good Guy's post. Btw Good Guy could you upload a photo of your trees, I didn't see any photo on your post.

Thanks again lads,

Sinzo
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been trying!!! Need to resize my photos. I use iPhone/iPad and am trying to figure out best way to do it. Any ideas, anyone?
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sinzo
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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Guy, to add a photo simply go to the "add an attachment" section and click on choose file. When you do that you will get one of two choices -

Take photo or video
Or
Choose existing

Then add it to your post.

Maybe you already know this but I just thought I'd let you know just in case you were not aware of this.

Keep posting and thanks for your advice,

Ollie
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:39 pm    Post subject: Good Guy's birches Reply with quote

I hope this has resized my photo.


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Greengage
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have a large birch similar positon near the veg plot my problem is greenfly especially last year on kale do you have similar problem
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