Oh no, not a birch

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Oh no, not a birch

Post  -Brent- on Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:49 pm

Yesterday upon arrival at my place of work, I noticed some landscapers half-way through chopping down a tree so I stopped to ask them what their mandate was, ahem, and if they were going to be trimming any of the silver birches next to said half-hacked tree. They responded that the building security had requested them to remove several of them, and did I want one. Knowing little about birches but having previously considered attempting to bonsai one in theory, I took the bull by the horns and grabbed the opportunity. They were all fairly large trees, so assuming they were deciduous I selected the smallest and issued a "chop the trunk" command and requested them to then dig up a decent rootball. I took it home later that morning with great difficulty (size, weight and a brand spanker of a new car Very Happy that was not intended to ferry "half trees". Having no container at home large enough to hold this guy I dug a hole in the ground, prepared the soil a little and planted the thing.

Now upon doing some research on the web it looks like one should shy away from trunk-chopped "collected" silver birches as dieback can consume an entire trunk if there are no branches, as is the case with this specimen. So, I'm going to just leave it be, and hope that it heals up and buds back into life. I'm also hoping the dieback goes down about half way, perhaps a touch less so I can try get some taper and proper perspective in the long haul.

Has anybody had any positive experiences with trunk chopped birches?
Below is a shot of the stump. It's particularly boring right now, but with some fancy footwork (if it comes back to life that is), I can see a little broom or a replication of full size in nature, maybe.


-Brent-
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Oh no, not a birch

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:13 pm

Hello Stickman. I have never had any joy with Birch. I have seen some excellent Bich bonsai though. They are a pioneer species and relatively short lived. They don't apear to have the ability to compartmentalise damage like other trees and suffer badly with dieback. As they have cost nothing, I would give them a go.

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Re: Oh no, not a birch

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:32 pm

Hey Will,
I just wanted to thank you for your previous avatar; which made me chuckle everytime I looked at it. You new avatar is very nice. We have River Birch (Betula nigra) which grow in the wilds and can make interesting trees; particularly, the beaver-chewed stumps. They are short lived, but may outlive our remaining years. Borers, aphids and powdery mildew seem to be their only problem. Have fun Stickman! Cool Salut, Todd

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Re: Oh no, not a birch

Post  -Brent- on Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:03 pm

Thanks Will, Todd. I must admit that I too rather enjoyed your previous avatar Will.

So I reckon I just leave the stump alone for now and hope for the best. Even if it's only experience I get out of it in the end!

Cheers
Brent

-Brent-
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Re: Oh no, not a birch

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