Trees are great additions to your yard, but knowing how to care for each type of tree can be difficult. If you are one of the many homeowners fortunate enough to have one or more birch trees in your landscape, you are probably enjoying the look, texture, and shade provided by these trees. With potential heights of 50 to 90 feet, it is easy to see how the river birch tree will make a real statement in your landscape design. Of course, proper care is essential to protect the look and health of these trees. Here are a few simple solutions to help you water, fertilize, and prune your river birch tree.
All young trees require a good amount of water immediately after planting. Once established, you can decrease the amount of water you apply to your river birch tree.
During periods of drought or excess heat, water the tree, tree base, and soil thoroughly. Make sure to apply enough water where the soil surrounding the base of your tree is moist, but not soaked.
Arranging mulch or pine straw around the tree base is also wise. This will add a nice decorative touch to your tree, but it will also help keep the tree and underlying soil moist, since both mulch and pine straw trap in water.
Before planting, you should have the soil tested to determine if it lacks important nutrients your river birch tree needs to grow and thrive.
Applying a general-purpose fertilizer designed for trees each year is helpful. You can choose from a slow-release fertilizer, such as granules you apply to the soil or stakes that you place into the ground close to the tree's roots. Or, you can create a fertilizing solution using water and spray the tree thoroughly.
Make sure the fertilizer contains essential nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphate, which strengthen the tree and the underlying roots. Fertilizing will promote new growth, but it will also strengthen the roots and trunk, ensuring the river birch's branches and foliage are strong and healthy.
The late part of winter or early spring is the best time for pruning river birch trees. Tree pruning is important for many reasons. Not only does it help improve the tree's look, but it also removes any signs of disease or decay, keeping your tree healthier.
To get started, remove any haphazard branches that are rubbing or connecting one another. Also, trim off branches that are hanging too close to the ground. Make sure to remove any discolored, damaged, or decaying branches, as well.
Use sharp pruning shears to ensure the cuts are clean. This will reduce stress on your river birch tree. Also, wipe down the shears with alcohol after trimming off disease or decaying limbs and branches. This stops the spreading of any fungus or mold.
With proper care, the river birch tree can grow to enormous heights, adding beauty, shade, and value to your landscape.