Birch Tree Root Pattern Birch trees require acidic, loamy soil that stays consistently moist to stay healthy. The river birch produces separate male and female flowers in the form of catkins. Multiply that number by 6. The trees produce green or brown cones in summer. The birds-nest tangle of roots may prevent other plants from thriving near the river birch's base. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Betula Nigra (River Birch), University of Minnesota Extension: River Birch, Michigan State University: All-Season Trees: River Birch. Root system is reported by growers to be densely branched and compact. Most birch trees like soil that is somewhat acidic, though the paper birch does not mind alkaline soil. This birch does tolerate heat over 85 degrees F and so it does not get attacked by Bronze Birch Borer, unless it is very old and dying already. The silver birch -- tall, slender and pale -- is called the Lady of the Wood in folklore. Dealing With Trees Surface Roots And Avoiding Them At Planting. The trees are about 6 1/2 feet tall. How to Transplant Western Redbud Bare Roots, University of California Integrated Pest Management. How to Grow Birch Trees: Due to its shallow root system the birch tree is very sensitive to heat and drought. When planting a birch tree select a site that will shade its roots in the afternoon and still provide sun to canopy for much of the day. Mulching also helps to maintain soil temperature. They are more heat tolerant than most of their birch relatives, making them a good choice in many parts of the southern U.S. Thanks to its shallow root system, river birch is easy to transplant. Birch roots fan out in a 4- to 8-inch thick mat just under the surface where they can easily catch rain as it begins to percolate through the soil. This species is well suited to wet soil and along stream sides it often sends roots right into the stream. Like other birches, a river birch's root system is wide and spreading, but not powerful enough to wreak havoc on your foundation. 1). River birch is a medium to tall tree, growing 60-80 feet at maturity and about 40 wide. They grow naturally in wet environments along river and stream banks, so they are used to very moist soil. Caused by fungal growth that starts in the root, root rot disease spreads from the bottom up through the entire tree. Without the right amount of space, the roots will make a home in the plumbing system’s weakest points. If this beauty is deprived of any water, it will seep into your septic system in search of it. The multiple, slender trunks are draped in silver, satiny bark that splits to allow the nut-brown inner bark to peep through. These roots will probably not crack or break concrete, but can easily find tiny cracks and hasten the process. Trees need oxygen as well as water and soil and that is why roots grow near the surface. They might also have better resistance than birches that come from cooler climates. From the main root, first-order roots arise which are known as the secondary roots. Note that during the heat of summer months, it is essential to water daily! Removing turf from the area around the tree and mulching reduces competition for available moisture. River Birch Ask An Expert. Birch trees require acidic, loamy soil that stays consistently moist to stay healthy. Birch tend to produce shallow roots that spread out over a large area. What Kind of Tree to Use for Instant Shade? This fast-growing tree has a root system that will tear up your yard in no time. Can You Plant a River Birch Near a Fence? River birch or red birch (Betula nigra) grows rapidly, as you are already discovering, to 25 or 30 feet in height and after that a little more slowly to an eventual 40 to 60 feet, often with multiple trunks. Birch pollen causes significant allergy in some people but pollen is produced for … In 2002, one of its cultivars was even named the Urban Tree of the Year by the Society of Municipal Arborists. You’ll find a list of trees with deeper roots here: Garden-Friendly Trees. The large area required for birch tree roots, which rapidly grows in a flat fashion, provides a perfect situation for problems to arise with a home’s plumbing or sewer system. It is an excellent tree as its roots do a great job holding shorelines together, helping to prevent erosion. A perennial bed under the tree is an excellent idea. Its dense root system tolerates dense, wet soil, and even regular flooding and standing water. River Birch Tree Facts River birch trees (Betula nigra) are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. What To Do About River Birch Roots. The spreading canopy provides shade in northern and southern climates. Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)—zones 2–7 *Shrub willows have more limited root systems than tree willows and can be used near a flower bed… but never near vegetables! Cutting a birch tree's roots weakens it, leaves it prone to infection and, if done improperly, can put it off balance enough to cause it to topple over. ‘Heritage’ River Birch1 Edward F . Place the root ball in the hole and cover halfway with soil. It should be pruned in summer because it bleeds if pruned in spring. Locating birches away from oaks, conifers and other susceptible varieties also helps improve their odds of avoiding the root-destroying pathogen. Determine which roots are safe to cut. With the widest range of all the native birches, the river birch grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. The trunk typically grows about 2 feet in diameter but occasionally will be much wider. Roots will grow first where the soil is loose and organic, but will also conquer clay soil. 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