Repairing Wounded Birch Trees

Save

Birch bark, wood, and branches are notoriously susceptible to injury, because their bark is naturally thin and papery and their wood is naturally soft. Birch trees wounded by storm winds, snow, ice or hail may be in big trouble. Once a wound occurs, there are a few things you can do immediately to help it heal. Long-term improvement of cultural practices will also help it recover, and prevent diseases and insects from further weakening the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning saw
  • Pruning shears
  • Sharp knife
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Assess the wounds on the birch tree to determine whether it's worth saving, A tree split down the middle won't survive, nor will a birch tree with a trunk with bark that is cut all the way around. On the other hand, a split crotch, broken branches and some types of holes can be repaired.

  • Remove broken branches at the trunk of the birch. For branches less than 2-and-1/2 inches in diameter, use pruning shears. Angle the shear blades at 45 degrees, cutting down and away from the trunk. Leaving a short, angled stub will allow moisture to drain off and the tree will heal faster.

  • Remove broken limbs larger than 2-and-1/2 inches in diameter with a pruning saw, using the three-cut method. Make the first cut 12 inches from the trunk, halfway through the branch, starting at the underside. Make the second cut an inch away, halfway through from the top side. The branch will snap of its own weight as you cut. Make the third cut all the way through the branch at the trunk, as in Step 2.

  • Trim torn bark and the edges of holes with a sharp knife. Angle the knife sharply in a shaving motion, leaving torn edges smooth.

  • Help the tree heal by strengthening its environment. Fertilize once a year in early spring with a 10-10-10 fertilizer, following the directions on the package for the size and age of the tree. Spread a 3-foot ring of mulch, 2 to 4 inches deep, starting 6 inches from the trunk to suppress weeds, regulate soil temperature and hold moisture in the soil.

  • Water the wounded birch to keep soil moist at least 6 inches below the ground line, but not enough to make the soil soggy. Watering helps the tree support new growth, utilize fertilizer and helps the tree resist diseases that infect weakened trees.

References

  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • What is a Royal Frost Birch Tree?

    The Royal Frost Birch is a relatively new variety of birch tree, a cross between the Crimson Birch and the Whitespire Japanese...

  • Interesting Facts About Birch Trees

    Whether grown as single specimens or tucked in a group against a hillside, birch trees (Betula spp.) are characterized by their distinctive...

  • How to Prune White Birch Trees

    If you are a gardener who loves to prune, don't select a white birch tree for your backyard. Whether you plant European...

  • How to Repair a Split Tree

    I discovered one of our ornamental trees had a split crotch where two larger branches met. To cut off one of the...

  • How to Split Large Tree Trunks for Wood

    Buying firewood can be costly, especially as of 2009, with most bundles of firewood averaging $5 for only six or seven pieces...

  • How to Season Birch Firewood

    Seasoning firewood is the process of removing moisture from the wood, making it easier to burn and less likely to smoke or...

  • Birch Trees for Interiors

    Soaring white birch trees thrive in northern climates, creating a stunning landscape of white trunk columns. For interior spaces, birch trees manifest...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!