Planting trees next to a home provides shade from the summer sun and adds value to the property. There are several birch tree varieties. On average, most birch tree varieties reach heights of 30 to 40 feet tall with the same overall upper limb spread when mature. There are a few considerations when spacing birch trees next to a home.
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Contact your local electric utility company. The utility company will have specific regulations concerning the placement of all large trees next to overhead power lines, along with underground utility wires and pipes. In most cases, trees must maintain at least a 40-foot distance from all overhead utility wires.
Consider the orientation of the home to the movement of the sun during the summer and winter. Birch trees with a mature height of 40 feet will cast long shadows from the low angled winter sun and short shadows from the high afternoon summer sun. The leaves of the birch tree, if properly spaced, will block the summer sun's rays from entering southern and western windows.
Space birch trees at least 20 feet from the edges of the home. The root system tends to extend beyond the upper limb drip line. Large roots may pose a threat to underground footings and foundations if the birch tree is planted too close to a permanent structure.
Distance birch trees from each other by the overhead canopy diameter. In other words, birch trees with a 40-foot spread should be kept at a centre trunk distance of at least 40 to 50 feet. The extra space between the upper limbs aids in the air flow between the trees and lessens the chance of spreading disease.
Tips and warnings
- Conduct a soil test before planting a birch tree in your landscape. Your local agricultural extension service can help you with this process, along with fertilisation requirements for birch trees in your area.
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