Why Plant Birch Trees in Threes?

Written by carrie terry
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Why Plant Birch Trees in Threes?
Birch trees are popular in landscaping because of their brilliant white bark. (birch tree in spring image by Calin Tatu from Fotolia.com)

Birch trees are popular landscaping trees because of their white bark and soft, draping foliage. Many homeowners choose these trees for their homes, and plant them in large numbers. Birch trees are relatively straightforward trees, and can grow up to 6 feet a year. They live for an average of 20 years, but can reach 50 years with the right level of care.

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Features

Birch trees have stark white bark with soft, lacy green foliage. They are green through spring and summer, and turn gold and red in fall and winter. These trees are narrower than ash, elms and oaks, and can grow to 50 feet in height.

Growing Needs

According to TreeHelp.com, the most important factor in healthy birch growth is the soil. This is especially true if you're planting more than one tree in a site, in which case the nutrition is divided up. Always plant birch trees in areas that get full sun, in loose, rich soil that retains moisture for the trees.

Threesomes

According to the Hello Hello Nursery in Melbourne, Australia, there are several reasons to plant birch trees in groups of three or five . Visually, the white of the tree trunks makes a bigger splash when there are more trees. Grouping birch trees together gives them both protection and competition. Birch trees that grow in groups stay small and don't require as much pruning, as they are gently restricted in their space.

Spacing

Even when birch trees are planted in groups, they need some space. Plant birch trees at least 5 to 7 feet apart, and leave plenty of space for the tree's upward growth. Restricting a birch tree's space by overcrowding eliminates the value of grouping.

Considerations

Birch trees do not have aggressive roots and are good for landscaping, but they do drop a lot of foliage. They can be messy fire hazards if they're not regularly pruned or cleaned. This situation is aggravated when birch trees are planted in groups, as there are several trees to clean up after instead of just one.

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