Birch. It grows like a weed...

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Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  Vlad on Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:40 am

but it is a very attractive species.   The character of an old tree is incredible. Deeply cracked bark in the bottom part of their trunk is hard to match and the top section?  Well, it looks like a dalmatin.  Funny.  And it is a great fun to grow too.   Do you have one?   So please share it.  It is a birch season...


This is my little contribution.  

Jan 2016



Nov 2016



What a growth in just a single season...

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  Vitusus on Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:41 pm

Absolutely gorgeous tree. I must say I like the "dalmatine-like" bark on mature birches very much, so I started one myself, will post some pictures when I get home. And yes, they grow like crazy, the only thing I am afraid of is their tendency to die back a lot. Any experience with that, Vlado?

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:13 pm

i have begun some dwarf river birch this past season, but they are only seedlings that i will be creating a river-side forest with...

but they certainly did put on a lot of growth in this one season !

and yours, vlad ?
incredible start with a killer trunk and lots of good branch choices now !!!

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  BobbyLane on Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:30 pm

Thats a nice little Birch you have there Vlad, im quite fond of the species myself. i have a couple, both betula pubescens/downy Birch, they dont get the white of the Betula pendula....but a more silvery colour, along with the cracked bark

This one underwent a few styling changes, i got earlier in the year, i call it dancing Birch

as sold on ebay by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
IMG_1450 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
IMG_2065 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
IMG_2144 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

This Birch is different from pendula and doesnt have a naturally weeping habit, so the styling was changed once more
IMG_2347 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
IMG_2349 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

this one in a windspwept form
IMG_1780 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
IMG_1840 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

To prevent branch die back, ive read that they shouldnt be pruned after aug, basically only prune when the tree is actively growing.

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:28 pm

nice bobby... i forgot i also have a himilayan birch... i will try to rustle up some pics...

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  AlainK on Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:34 pm

A very good start Vlad.

I've heard or read that birch often have die-back on some branches, but yours seems to be full of peps.

ThumbsUp Blahopřejeme! It shows a very artistic sense of design to me...

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  BobbyLane on Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:56 pm

Fantastic capture of a Birch in this flickr link

https://www.flickr.com/photos/27955898@N07/8675310329/in/faves-138823275@N03/


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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:58 pm

here is some history on my himilayan birch
(link to thread on this site from a couple years ago)

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t16341-himalayan-birch-winter-work-question-follow-up-work-done?highlight=himalayan

i have some pics of recent work done on it but i just gotta find em scratch
(so much for my filing system Embarassed )


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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:16 pm

ah-HA !
found em... i added them to my own post on this forum

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  BobbyLane on Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:03 pm

Remember to seal the wounds on that Birch, Kevin...Birch wood isnt great for carving and is especially prone to rot. i'd recommend kyonal or vaseline on those cut edges.

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  Vlad on Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:56 pm

While we are waiting for the pics promised by Vitusus Very Happy  ( sorry my friend to push you ), I would like to thanks Bobby and Kevin for their effort to share the pics of their nice trees.   The movement of the Dancing Birch is great and I do appreciate Bobby's courage to move from a wheeping form to a more natural one. I was not so brave with my Hollow trunk birch.   Kevin's idea of a birch forest is something I am about to copy if he doesn't mind.

Regarding the die back.  Sorry I cannot help as I do not have any experience with that.    Pruning after the leaf fall ( just have a look on the first pic ), leaving wires throughout the winter - so it seems I am lucky.  Or maybe my birches (the five of them ) are just waiting for the moment once we reach the point of fine tuning for they know it will hurt me much more deeper at that time ...

Alain, you know how to please my Czech soul by a Human touch Smile

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  Vlad on Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:06 pm

My most favourite birch bonsai has been shown by Mr Tomlinson in his 101 Essential Tips.

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  Vitusus on Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:11 pm

Sorry, Vlad, I was on the business trip, returned today. Hopefully I will be able to post the pictures tomorrow, I should finally have some free time. Very Happy

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  spinnikm on Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:17 pm

Here are a couple of my Birch.  Im planning on taking the one that is in the ground and putting it in a wooden box in the spring.  The challenge will be matching the top with the nice base. One thing I have noticed with this species is they love water. It seems like you almost can't over water them.


Last edited by spinnikm on Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  spinnikm on Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:19 pm

oops here is the other pic.


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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  LanceMac10 on Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:29 pm

Fantastic looking Birches, gentleman!!
Matt, the one in the pot looks very interesting with excellent bark coloring!!
And the one in the ground has a massive trunk.....huge!!
I'll stick to admiring them in the landscape, however!!! lol! lol!

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:32 pm

bobby - thanks for the reminder...

vlad - i do not mind as no 2 forests will ever look the same

spinner-man - that potted birch is beautiful in its elegance and the extreme white of the bark !

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  Vlad on Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:36 pm

Matt, thank you for sharing the pics of your birches. The colors of the potted one are fantastic. The other one - as you said - with ample supply of water and nutrients the tree will grow very fast. On my tree I would consider a reduction of the trunk even a bit lower to avoid the straight section. I hate seeing my saw taking a rest... Cool

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  Vitusus on Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:06 pm

Ok, guys, I finally got to uploading the pictures of my birch.

This is where I started this year in April:



And this is midsummer update of it:



And finally early September:



I will try to shoot the current state of it tomorrow, without leaves, though I already put my trees under a cover of mulched bark for winter. So at least you will see how I handled the overwintering challenge.

It's still only a baby tree but they grow really fast, I'll hae to start thinking about what to do next with it.

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:34 pm

if you wish to grow a large fat trunk, it will do so much much faster in the ground...

but you probably already knew that Wink

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  Vlad on Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:33 am

Thank you Vitusus. You have selected much longer path but clearly the one which is more rewarding.   Birches make one of the best training material I know.   They will tolerate hard pruning - providing you do it while they have leaves ( not too early in a spring though due to the massive sap bleeding ) and you keep at least a single branch below the point of a trunk chop.  You can graft roots and branches, defoliate etc.  You can also try different design options. If you do not like the result  it can be altered quite quickly if you wish so as the birches grow really fast.   In my experience it is easier to start with a tree that has whitish color already though.  It may be a bit of problem to get the right mix of colors in a pot.    
Btw - what kind of substrate do you use for the birch?

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  Vitusus on Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:14 am

Yes, Vlad, this birch is a seedling, I must go somewhere next year and find some material for yamadori, I really like your birch.

I used a mix of sand and composte for this tree with some larger particles at the bottom of the pot for better drainage. I intend to leave it in the pot for whole next season and then, in spring 2018, repot it. I started using a mix of terramol and bit of composte recently and the trees seem to like it, so I think I will change to this mix when repotting.

Now, I promised to show the current state. As I said, I already put my trees under the cover of mulched bark, so it's not that easy to get to them and unfortunately the birch is at the back, so not really good pictures, but you will probably get the idea. I will make some better photographs in the spring before the leaves come out.





I am sorry for turning your heads to the side but for some strange reason I am unable to upload the pictures with the correct orientation.

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  Vlad on Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:11 pm





Winter is toooo long.   Hardly can wait for the first burst of buds early next spring.   On the other side there some brighter spots in the white year's season such as some skiing trips  or better to say:  time to enjoy some winter sports - to be fair with the guys on the boards Cool

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:09 pm

indeed vlad !

and vitusus... if you simply rotate the pictures it sometimes doesnt not work...
i have found that rotating it and then making some additional minor adjustment (like cropping) and then saving the picture again before posting seems to work... for some reason, just rotating and saving does not "take" when posting...

dont know why scratch
but it is a simple enough solution.

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Re: Birch. It grows like a weed...

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