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Betula Jacquemontii Birch — 22 Comments

  1. It’s refreshing to read something that makes great sense from someone who clearly knows arboroculture. I get so many people going to experts only to come to me afterwards because they appear not to know what they are talking about. Thank you – David Robbins

  2. Thank you Alistair – you’ve helped me to identify yet another of my trees! I have two of these in my garden although mine don’t look as good anymore. The “tree feller” guys cut them back drastically last year and from what I’ve now read, this is not good – they shouldn’t be cut back more than 25% at a time. I hope they recover to their former beauty again.

  3. Hi Alistair, Im learning something new about pruning..’raising the crown’ because I have a few flowering shrubs to prune. Love that white bark birch tree, just nice for a garden shade.

  4. Hi Janet, the more I have read about tree pruning the more confused I get, I think I have been too severe in pruning my Birch on this occasion and if it doesn’t survive I honestly think it will be because of this. The Sycamore I just had the crown raised.

  5. Hi Alistair – one of my favourite trees! I wanted a multi stemmed myself, but couldn’t afford it at the time, hence my mini grove of 3. Yours looks lovely. I am a big fan of raising the crown of birches so that you can admire a length of bare trunk. Like Edith I find it hard to grow things around the base of mine though. I am still fascinated by the conflicting advice on when best to prune Himalayan birches! The RHS pruning and training book says late summer to mid winter, your tree surgeon says July/August, mine said when dormant, and I’ve found pretty much everything in between on the web! I guess we stick to what we know works for us, it may vary because of climate or something for all I know. I’ve never known ours to weep, so I will stick to mid winter 😉

  6. Yes Carolyn, I think it is true that the Birch prefers the cooler climate. I will not be surprised if I have killed our Jacquemontii with being too severe with my pruning.

  7. What you say is true Donna, I suspect I may have been a little over zealous on this occasion. I have just inserted a new plugin which is supposed to inform you by email that a reply has been made to your comment. Would you be kind enough to let me know if it has worked.

  8. I use the birch a lot in design because of the year round interest. And as you mentioned, proper pruning is a must. They are elegant looking trees pruned correctly.

  9. Alistair, White-barked birches have real trouble surviving in our heat, but Scotland must be perfect for them. They are an abundant native tree on the island in Maine where my family has a home. Betual jacquemontii is supposed to do better in the heat than other species, and Longwood Gardens near me has some beautiful specimens. I, however, managed to kill mine. Yours is beautiful. Carolyn

  10. I think these are some of the most beautiful trees. I don’t have one in my garden, but always admire them in others’.

  11. I love your Birch Alistair . . . so lovely in color and form. Interesting about the pruning and I would say yes to the lower branch being taken off. I have found similar oversights after having an expert over to prune large trees.

  12. Your photos are lovely…Thanks for the tips. But there isn’t much difference for us whether we prune in July or Dec. 🙂 I try to avoid pruning early in the morning as the injured tree would suffer heat throughout the day.

  13. I’ve never heard of “raising the crown” – My mum’s neighbours have a huge sycamore tree. In the summer, the leaves get covered with red suckers which drip sticky stuff over the whole vegetable patch.

  14. Edith,I have just planted the red form of New Dawn at the base of our Birch in the hope that it would wind its way through at the base of the lower branches. You have me wondering If I am being optimistic.

  15. Dear Alistair, I do love Betula Jacquemontii and agree with you that they are perfect for smaller gardens as they are very neat in growth. They give so much interest in both the beautiful white bark and the autumn leaf colour that they well earn their growing space. The only difficulty is finding plants to grow beneath them I find as few things seem to wish to thrive at the feet of these trees.

  16. what a lovely tree…here we have native birches with peeling bark but they tend to bend and break due to all the snow if they are not in a protected area….making them a species in your yard is taking a risk…my dad tried for yrs replacing the tree that would die or break under the snow and ice and eventually had to give up…he would have loved your tree…lovely pruning of that sycamore!

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