On our farm in Doylestown Pa., River Birch trees are the first
trees I planted when I was a small child. My father said this is
a plant that is hard to plant screw up. He was right. Green side
up was his motto. I can't remember any ever not surviving. They
are survivors. You will too find this tree an amazing addition
to your landscape.
Birch trees are prized for their outstanding bark
characteristics and their graceful delicate foliage. Numerous
species and cultivars are used in landscapes, and almost all are
distinctive in bark coloration, growth form, and susceptibility
to certain insect pests. Though homeowners often desire birch as
an ornamental tree, they soon discover that birch can be very
difficult to maintain as a healthy, long-lived specimen. In many
landscapes, birch trees begin to decline within a few years, and
many trees die well before reaching maturity. A healthy birch
tree should be able to survive and thrive for 40-50 years. In
many yards, however, it is not unusual for birch trees,
especially the white-barked birches, to die well before reaching
20 years of age.
In times, homeowners have predisposed their birch trees to
problems by planting and growing them under conditions that are
not correct for their survival and long term health. You can
avoid many of these problems by following the four basic steps
described in this newsletter:
Select the appropriate location for your birch tree. Select the
most appropriate species of birch. Follow cultural practices
that will maintain a healthy birch. Monitor and control common
insect pests of birch trees.
I have heard that WET FEET are NOT bad for ME-
-says the River Birch tree.
For humans, wet feet are VERY bad and cause "Athlete's Foot"
fungus on the skin. The soles of our feet are where the most
sweat cells, the densest concentration in our whole body, are
found. That's why athletes who sweat so much often get the foot
problem which also got their name. And what happens to our skin
when we stay in the bathtub or swim too long?
As for trees, some trees actually DIE if the soil that
immediately surrounds them is very wet. CONSTANTLY wet. Just ask
any Norway Spruce tree.
Maybe you want to drink a lot of water when you run, or do a
workout, or heavy physical labor. Well, similarly, trees that
grow fast and grow large, want to drink a lot of water too. But,
they don't want to stay permanently immersed in it!
That's part of the problem with clay soil, the poor drainage and
moisture retention. Some clays can hold water over 40 times
their volume. Wow.
Even when rainfall is below average, there are areas on most any
property where water collects and the ground is especially wet.
So, look for low spots, look where perhaps where there are
springs where groundwater constantly rises, and what about
looking for where gutters and storm drains empty? Then, plant a
River birch Tree right there and watch it grow! The following
web sites provide River Birch trees in the Doylestown Township
area: http://www.seedlingsrus.com http://www.zone5trees.com