The Best Time to Prune a Birch Tree

Written by callie barber
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The Best Time to Prune a Birch Tree
Birch trees are known for their peeling bark that resembles paper. (birch tree detail image by Stephen Orsillo from Fotolia.com)

Birch trees are known for their stunning, peeling bark and attractive foliage. They are often used in landscapes as a specimen tree because of their striking ornamental features. To maintain a healthy and long-lived birch tree, follow an annual pruning plan.

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Time Frame

Prune the birch tree after the foliage has fully developed in late spring to early summer. Birch trees have sap that "bleeds" in late winter to early spring, so never prune during this time period.

Considerations

Don't remove more than 1/4 of the live foliage on the birch tree. Avoid excessive pruning, as this increases light penetration around the root base, affecting the soil temperatures and reducing the moisture levels.

Reasons

Pruning a birch tree helps to create a strong framework and form. Shearing out dead, diseased and unwanted branches offers an open, tidy canopy. Pruning also decreases the chance of insect infestations, which can devastate a birch tree.

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