Birch from seed

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Birch from seed

Post  Vitusus on Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm

Hi all, this is my birch grown from seed, I think it's some three years old now, maybe four, not sure exactly. I repotted it this year and it is growing quite well so far. I'm thinking about shortening the apex though later during the season as it seems to grow like crazy.





Any tips and tricks for the birches? Except for that it is not suitable for bonsai Laughing (I seem to hear this about way too many tree species)

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Re: Birch from seed

Post  michaelsturm on Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:53 pm

Birch make for fine bonsai. I used to grow several of them when I lived in Alaska. It looks like you live in apartment, I would plant that guy in the biggest pot you can find and let it go crazy for two years and see what you get for trunk growth.

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Re: Birch from seed

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:08 pm

michaelsturm wrote: I would plant that guy in the biggest pot you can find and let it go crazy for two years and see what you get for trunk growth.

yes yes yes !
and no pruning during that time... just growing energy !

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Re: Birch from seed

Post  Vitusus on Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:03 pm

Hello everyone, just a quick update, after one year of growth, this is how it looks without leaves. Will also add more pictures once the buds finally open and I get some green on it Very Happy



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Re: Birch from seed

Post  Vitusus on Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:30 pm

Hello everyone,

Update of my birch after another growing season, any comments welcome.

The trunk is thickening up and I will be repotting the tree in the spring and I plan to bring the left down branch lower in a similar way I did it with the right one. Plus work further on the ramification.



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Re: Birch from seed

Post  Vlad on Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:53 pm

Building a tree from a seed is quite a challenge if your plan is the "naturalistic" form as there are basically no rules. The "old fashioned" classical form is much easier to follow as there are quite clear rules that guide your activities.

If the tree is mine I would cut off the current trunk just above the first branch on the right side converting this branch into the new leader. This should resolve the problematic thickening at the place of the second branch ie the first one on the left and gives you better taper. If I am lucky I will get some new buds lower on the trunk. If not I would consider bud grafting or a threadgrafts. Also I would work on a nebari at this stage.

On the other hand you can leave it as it is if you are happy with it. But then I think that you should reduce the strenght of the first branch as it gets a bit thicker than it should be.


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Re: Birch from seed

Post  Vitusus on Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:02 pm

Hello everyone, my birch needed a repotting and so I gave it also a new pot:




I'm still thinking about Vlad's advice to cut the trunk above the first branch but first I want to know if the tree survived the repotting successfully.

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Re: Birch from seed

Post  Vitusus on Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:34 pm





Well, actually it did survive the repotting and it is growing very nicely this year and I decided to give it a chance to grow some finer ramification, we'll see how it comes along.

At the moment it has been pruned back after the spring growth and I played with wire a bit as well to set the basic branches to similar angles as the bottom defining branch. I am missing some branches in the middle section but I think some buds will appear there and I will develop them to fill in the space.

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Re: Birch from seed

Post  Vlad on Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:31 pm

Happy about the pot, Vitusus. Birches (at least in our region ) needs a lot of water. Spacious pots make life easier. A layer of sphagnum moss on the top could help to develop new surface roots faster.
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Re: Birch from seed

Post  Vitusus on Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:02 am

Vlad wrote:Happy about the pot, Vitusus.   Birches (at least in our region ) needs a lot of water.  Spacious pots make life easier.  A layer of sphagnum moss on the top could help to develop  new surface roots faster.  
 

Thanks Vlad, I am glad you like it Smile

And yes, it is a thirsty tree Very Happy

Also, thanks for the advice, I will think about the sphagnum moss when the tree gets even more stable in the pot (it's still wiggling a bit) as I want to take the stone away and get the top few millimeters of soil off as well to check the roots development. I might replace it with the moss then.

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Re: Birch from seed

Post  Vlad on Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:55 am

I would keep the soil level as it is now. Adding additional layer of moss just makes more friendly environment for the development of roots closer to the surface. You can do it even now to promote the growth of roots on the "weaker" side. In my place I do cover the moss with a piece of shading cloth pinned to the soil with a bend steel wire to protect the moss from the blackbirds.
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