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River Birch - Pruning

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Mar 25, 2013, 04:09 PM
Sparky
River Birch - Pruning
I trimmed a couple of branches off of my river birch a week ago, one of the branches was heading towards the house so I wanted to get rid off it before it became a problem. That silly tree is still pumping out water/sap over a week later. The text from the website below says to trim at the end of the spring season but not to trim if the leaves are coming out. Well the leaves haven't started coming out yet, but the sap sure is running. Given this, should I want to prune another branch I guess wait until the leaves drop in the fall? There is another branch I'd like to take out to open up the tree, since it is growing into another branch. It is about 3" in diameter.


Time of Year for Pruning Birch Tree Branches
Prune your river birch tree at the end of the spring season. Do not begin trimming if the birch trees have started growing leaves. Prune the following year if leaves or leaf buds are starting to grow. Pruning river birch trees any later will result in a great deal of sap loss. Sap is necessary for the health of your tree because it helps provide moisture and sugars to give it strength. Trimming at other times can cause a bleeding birch, requiring you to consistently water the trees daily due to continuous sap loss.

Read more: When to Prune a River Birch Tree | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/way_556641...e.html#ixzz2OaFG7Be8


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Mar 25, 2013, 05:45 PM
still tryin
Your tree isn't dormant, so yes, you have to wait until late summer to prune the other branch. I would check with your local county ext. because I'm basing my advice on information from Clemson Coop. Ext. which is located in South Carolina. Hopefully, North and South Carolina are similar enough climate wise that the advice is correct for your area.

"Pruning healthy trees should be done when the tree is dormant (late summer to before midwinter), as this tree bleeds heavily." the link below has the rest of the information for pruning River Birch trees.

http://www.clemson.edu/extensi.../trees/hgic1005.html



Here's an article that from the S.F. Gate titled, "When to Prune a River Birch Tree". There are 3 links in the 5 references at the end of the article.


http://homeguides.sfgate.com/p...irch-tree-49867.html

This message has been edited. Last edited by: still tryin,
Mar 25, 2013, 06:42 PM
rubyruby
I have several river birches and I've never had the sap problem and I've pruned suckers at all seasons. I am assuming you took a major branch off? I think it's going to be okay.


"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt"
Mar 25, 2013, 06:43 PM
rubyruby
adding now that i think about it...I took off some lower branches of my single trunk tree last summer and it was fine. I don't recall any sap though. I'm sure they have several varieties of River Birches.


"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt"
Mar 26, 2013, 09:30 AM
Sparky
The branches I cut were pretty good sized, 2-3 inches in diameter, large enough that I used a chain saw to cut them.

I suspect it will slow down as the wound heals. I may need to give it more water than normal this summer when we hit the hot and dry months of July and August. The tree has been in the ground for 14 years now so it is getting to be a substantial tree.

If it did die, I don't think I'd put in another River Birch, they are a dirty tree, always dropping leaves and twigs and coming soon seeds.


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Mar 26, 2013, 09:34 AM
WWanda
quote:
If it did die, I don't think I'd put in another River Birch, they are a dirty tree, always dropping leaves and twigs and coming soon seeds.


You sound like my husband. We have one right next to the house and he hates it. I won't let him take it down though, as it's a beautiful tree even if it does make a mess of the lawn.

As I recall, he trimmed a rather large branch that was resting on our roof and I don't remember having a sap problem. I'm guessing he did it in the fall when the leaves were gone.


Wanda
Mar 26, 2013, 10:25 AM
Florida Farm Girl
We put in a river birch when we moved into our house. It was a little 1/2 inch diameter switch about 4 feet tall and it's now two eight inch trunks and about 45 feet tall. I love it but its away from the house. I've trimmed lower branches with no problems and never noticed any sap problems, but maybe I got lucky with the timing.


www.floridafarmgirlsworld.blogspot.com


Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
Mar 28, 2013, 09:10 PM
rubyruby
sparky, I love them...and I've never experienced reseeding or limbs in the yard. You must have a male Wink they always make a mess. Seriously, I am really curious what the variety is? Are you absolutely sure it's a birch? Not to insult your intelligence....just odd for a river birch. Post a pic?!


"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt"
Apr 02, 2013, 01:12 PM
Chess*
No problem with pruning river birches while the sap is running. Won't hurt the tree one bit. I prune mine every spring.

If it did, we wouldn't have a maple syrup industry.
Apr 02, 2013, 01:14 PM
Chess*
quote:
Originally posted by still tryin:
Your tree isn't dormant, so yes, you have to wait until late summer to prune the other branch.

as this tree bleeds heavily."


No, you don't. And trees don't "bleed".
Apr 02, 2013, 03:50 PM
still tryin
quote:
Originally posted by Chess*:
quote:
Originally posted by still tryin:
Your tree isn't dormant, so yes, you have to wait until late summer to prune the other branch.

as this tree bleeds heavily."


No, you don't. And trees don't "bleed".


Yes they do, bleed has more than one definition. It doesn't simply apply to blood flowing. If you check a botanical dictionary you will see the term. Do you sincerely believe that the University of Clemson, in South Carolina used an incorrect word. If you re-read my post you will see that I was quoting them.

ETA, you don't need a botanical dictionary, check any decent dictionary.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: still tryin,
Apr 05, 2013, 11:32 PM
Chess*
Trees run sap. Animals bleed.

I realize you were quoting them. However, they apparently believe that you have to wait until the sap is not running to prune the tree. That is absolutely not true. So I am quite content with contesting their use of "bleed". :-)