Betula nigra, pretty jazzed

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Betula nigra, pretty jazzed

Post  drgonzo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:22 am

Hello all,
This was the score I made from a local nursery today Betula Nigra 'Little King' Fox Valley River Birch. I originally went hunting for thick trunked Cotoneasters...then I saw her... I was so excited that I ran a red light driving back home. I'ts got mature bark, several potential leaders to cut back to, I love the nutty surface root's and THEIR mature bark, and it even has some taper in the main trunk. The tree is about 7 feet tall now.

I just felt i wanted to share it with you folks AND ask for any tips and tricks in dealing with Birch. This is a new species for me and I have already read about die back and the need for carefully timed pruning to avoid this tendency, and that they bleed like stuck pigs.

I'll begin reducing it in the spring but I hope you'll agree I got a good piece of starter material, Good material is SO hard to find and at 30% off end of season sale? BINGO! $50 bucks..done!
-Jay


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Re: Betula nigra, pretty jazzed

Post  coh on Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:08 am

Congrats! I know nothing about birches (except for the things you mentioned), but it looks like it has some potential. How thick is the trunk at the base? I wonder what other kinds of roots you'll find buried...

Chris

P.S. Watch those red lights!

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Re: Betula nigra, pretty jazzed

Post  drgonzo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:51 am

Its about 3 inches at the base, what struck me was the lean it had, the roots, mature bark, and there are two good upward leaders to choose, I'm definitely after pruning advice. I have to reduce the tree back to one of those leaders and it seems the best time for that is in late spring, when its in full leaf, the thing I keep running into is that timing is important because these guys tend to bleed badly.

I feel kind of silly as its just a trunk, But I thought this had good potential. Very Happy

The worst part was that this morning I literally swore to myself I wouldn't do any more calcifuge trees, then of course I go out and get this!


Last edited by drgonzo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:56 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Betula nigra, pretty jazzed

Post  coh on Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:56 am

"Just a trunk", that brought a little chuckle...only a bonsaist (or whatever term you prefer) would understand!

Are you considering possibly trying to do an air-layer to get a second decent-sized trunk? I don't know how well these layer, and you'd basically have to give up the whole growing season...but maybe something to consider.

Chris

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Re: Betula nigra, pretty jazzed

Post  drgonzo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:59 am

coh wrote:"Just a trunk", that brought a little chuckle...only a bonsaist (or whatever term you prefer) would understand!

Are you considering possibly trying to do an air-layer to get a second decent-sized trunk? I don't know how well these layer, and you'd basically have to give up the whole growing season...but maybe something to consider.

Chris

my wife had to deal with me going in and out constantly to look at it on the deck this afternoon, bless her patience...

I'm not good enough at air layering yet, i practice on forest trees, when I get it eventually then I'll do MY trees.

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Re: Betula nigra, pretty jazzed

Post  abcd on Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:26 am

Cut the trunk and the branches like on the photographie , grow the tree in the ground for 7 or 8 years ,clip and grow , then , carve the trunk and put your tree in pot .
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Re: Betula nigra, pretty jazzed

Post  coh on Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:14 pm

Jay,

I don't think there would be much (if any) risk to the tree, if you do the layer well above where you intend to chop anyway. The layer might not work and you'd lose a growing season, though.

Anyway, it's just my "thrifty" nature to not want to throw away all that plant material...which is why my yard is overrun with rooted cuttings, layers, etc. Maybe it's best NOT to follow my lead!

Chris

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Re: Betula nigra, pretty jazzed

Post  drgonzo on Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:51 am

Actually i was thinking i'd love to get a bunch of rooted cutting off this guy to do a Birch forest with. In fact that will probably be what is done as I reduce the canopy down, I'm also going to style the tree on the taller side, as a far view tree which I think will work better with this particular trunk than a thicker and more abrupt taper change found in a near view specimen, Its also my preferred aesthetic to do far view trees.

Like your looking at a nice tall slender birch tree in the distance..more akin to their natural habit.
-Jay

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Re: Betula nigra, pretty jazzed

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