I Grew Up With River Birch Trees

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 http://www.highlandhillfarm.com