The Q&A Archives: White Birch Tree Planting

Question: I would like to plant white birch trees in a spot where there are currently some pine trees. Any problem with this - I plan on cutting down the pines. Also, any helpful hints for this type of tree would be appreicated - fertilizer, spacing, watering, etc.

Answer: It sounds like a fine spot for your birch saplings, so long as you clear the pines first. If the soil is very rooty, remove as much as you can in a 2' radius from where the trees will be planted. Keep the saplings well watered through the first summer, and stake them if your area is windy. Keep an eye on them the second summer, as they may still need supplemental water. By the third summer, they should be growing strong. Monthly foliar applications of kelp/seaweed fertilizer will help them stay strong and fight disease/insects.

A paper birch can reach 30' tall by 20' wide in 25 years, and matures at a height of 60-75'. You can plant them close together if you want a grove effect, but if you're more interested in ending up with beautiful specimen trees, plant them at least 40' apart. Enjoy!

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