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Birch Tree Care a step-by-step guide
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Site Selection

A birch tree in a shaded forest.

A birch tree in its natural habitat.

In the natural environment, the birch is a riverbank tree with a preference for well-drained sandy loam where the root system has access to lots of moisture and where the crown has access to lots of sunlight. Where either of these elements is missing, a birch tree will struggle, weaken and may become prey to its lethal enemy, the bronze birch borer.

The challenge for the homeowner is to satisfy these two requirements. An ideal site is one which allows the crown access to sunlight for the better part of the day, yet where the base of the tree is sheltered from extreme heat and evaporation. In practical terms, this means avoiding planting birches as single trees in exposed areas.

From the standpoint of soil, birches have a preference for slightly acidic over alkaline conditions although slightly alkaline soils will work in combination with periodic fertilizer treatments.

For more information on fertilization, click here.

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