Silver Birch Trees

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kez
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:05 pm

Silver Birch Trees

Postby kez » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:24 pm

We have a steep hill that is shaped like a triangle. There are fencelines down each side. The area is approx 15 acres in size and a creek runs along the bottom. We were thinking of planting a row of silver birches along each fenceline. 1. beacuse they look great and 2 because we hoped that it would help the lower ground would become more fertile. Any feedback or comments would be appreciated.

duane
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Location: Central Coast, NSW
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Re: Silver Birch Trees

Postby duane » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:49 am

Kez

Why not plant a whole range of cold climate deciduous/fruit trees and nut trees??.....even better!! Permaculture refer to this as a food forest.

kez
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:05 pm

Re: Silver Birch Trees

Postby kez » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:24 pm

Yes I agree with your ideas but this the far coner of 400 acres and up a really steep hill. I would like to plant something that I can just admire and let do their magic.!!! I can't see myself climbing up the hill to collect fruit and nuts etc. The appeal of the birch is that they are cheap around six dollars for a six foot tree. I plan to use deciduous fruit and nut trees on the more accessable areas of the farm. Thanks for your feedback.

Shirley Henderson
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 4:03 pm
Location: Thirlmere

Re: Silver Birch Trees

Postby Shirley Henderson » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:05 pm

Hello Kez,
I dont know how much time you have on your hands but this is well worth the effort. This time of year is great to take cuttings of fantastic looking ornamental deciduous trees. If you have a spare patch You can get going a tree per square foot or (30cm as they say these days). You could do a dozen or 100 thats up to you.Take 30cm cuttings. dig some trenches about 25cm deep or holes. Scatter in some sand for drainage if you need to, put in your bare sticks with a couple of inches sticking out the top and let them grow. Next year you can plant them where you want them. I like to take my deciduous tree cuttings in the early winter because I can select the trees with the best autumn colour and foliage. Look around everywhere you go for those ornamentals. You may see a row of trees all of the same sort but one might have outstanding colour and of course use healthy specimens for your source.
Shirley

kez
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:05 pm

Re: Silver Birch Trees

Postby kez » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:17 pm

Shirley,
Can I take cuttings of any ornamental tree e.g manchurian pear, crab apple etc? Do I need to dip the cutting into any compounds to help with root development? Does it take them long to get to the four feet stage? It seems like there is so much to do and so little time. I was even thinking that populars might be a better option than the silver birch as they may grow quicker. Thanks for your help.

ColinJEly
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:50 am
Location: melbourne

Re: Silver Birch Trees

Postby ColinJEly » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:50 am

Kez
Another good one to consider is Photinia They are the ones that have the leaves turn red every year. They are evergreen, but are continually dropping their leaves. I have a small copse in my suburban back yard. The soil around them is rich in decayed leaves and spent flowers.

Shirley Henderson
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 4:03 pm
Location: Thirlmere

Re: Silver Birch Trees

Postby Shirley Henderson » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:11 am

Kez, I have copied this excerpt from the Royal Horticultural society.
How to take hardwood cuttings
Hardwood cuttings are often grown on outdoors in the ground in a prepared trench. However, if you are only taking a small number, you can grow them on in containers too. Some, dogwoods for example, benefit from protection with cloches or coldframe.
Hardwood cuttings grown on outdoors
• Select vigorous healthy shoots that have grown in the current year.
• Remove the soft tip growth.
• Cut into sections 15-30cm (6-12in) long, cutting cleanly above a bud at the top, with a sloping cut to shed water and as a reminder which end is the top.
• Cut straight across at the base below a bud or pair of buds and dip the lower cut end in a hormone rooting powder (this promotes root formation, it also contains a fungicide, protects against rotting). Cut though the ‘heel’ where the shoot joins a branch for shrubs with pithy stems such as Sambucus (elder).
• Prepare a trench outdoors in a sheltered site with well-drained soil. Dig in a bucketful of garden compost or other organic matter every square metre or yard.
• Insert the cuttings into the ground or pot with two-thirds of the cutting below the surface, with a layer of sand in the base. The roots will form along the stem. A few buds remain above the ground to allow the plant to grow away in spring. Where a single stemmed plant is aimed for, such as Populus or gooseberry, either leave only one bud above ground or rub off surplus buds.
• Allow 10-15cm (4-6in) between cuttings and 40cm (16in) between trenches.
• Check the trench after frosts and firm back if required.
• Cuttings should be left in place until the following autumn ensuring that they do not dry out in dry periods in summer.

jenni
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: holbrooknsw

Re: Silver Birch Trees

Postby jenni » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:46 pm

hi shirley,
i have read yr last post with great interest,thanks for the detail.we are getting ready to plant poplar cuttings at the moment-maybe 60.i am currently digging holes bout 30cm deep with a crow bar and was planning to cut off 1mtr cuttings, scrape round the bottom with a knife, brush with honey and stick it straight in the hole with a bit of compost and water it in.i havent done this before and i'm wondering after yr post wether this is going to work or should i change tack.i am too lazy and impatient to grow cuttings and replant them next year.is it ok just to put them straight in?

Shirley Henderson
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 4:03 pm
Location: Thirlmere

Re: Silver Birch Trees

Postby Shirley Henderson » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:44 pm

GIve it a try but stick to just a few centimetres out the top of the ground. If you really want to use long cuttings it is best to have more under the ground. You can also put in some slow release fertilser like granules to feed the cuttings once they root.
Shirley

jenni
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: holbrooknsw

Re: Silver Birch Trees

Postby jenni » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:44 pm

hi there just a little update.we ended up putting in 100 poplar cuttings.they were of varied length -30cm to 80cm, and width- no thinner than my finger to about 5cm diameter. i cut all the leaves off and soaked them in a bucket of water for a while.i made holes with the crowbar as far as i could (haha) 1-2 feet.soaked the cuttings in rooting hormone for a few hrs.we drove the cuttings in as far as we could.lots of rain made this easy and satisfying.filled holes with sand and covered in good compost.we left it like this for a while and then placed weed matting around each tree (scavanged propper stuff plus old carpet underlay).i checked them this morning (so bout 6 weeks after planting)and they are nearly all budding!! i know its early days but i am hopeful.i wanted to post this because it is a win for the lazy farmer.if this could get more trees growing quicker with less work i think it would be a great result.dont be scared to try stuff.sometimes nature doesnt mind if you are less than perfect? ps cost of project: around $10


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