The Q&A Archives: clump river birch tree

Question: I have two clump river birch trees and the branches start as low as the ground and up. I planted them last year and they are about 9 ft tall. My question is am I suppose to cut the branches from the ground up about 3 - 4 feet or just leave it the way it is??? If I cut the branches it would look like a regular tree.

Answer: Clump River Birch has a narrow, oval to pyramidal crown when young, spreading wider with age as several branches become dominant. River birch can be easily trained with one central leader or as a multi-stemmed tree. You can prune or not, depending upon the look you want in your landscape and whether or not the branches are in the way. Branches droop particularly when they are wet, so you may need to prune regularly in the early years to remove lower branches when they are located close to areas where clearance is needed.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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