How to kill a silver birch tree


How to kill Silver Birch trees

Silver Birch or Betula Pendula belongs to the Betulaceae family of trees and is native to Southern Europe. Silver birch is deciduous in nature and can be found in most temperate regions of the world. They are recognized by their paper-like peeling white bark.

Let’s take a look at how to kill a Silver Birch tree its root system.

Table of Contents

How to Kill Silver Birch Trees?

Some of the most common methods to kill Silver Birch are:

  • Foliar Spray
  • Cutting the tree down and treating the stump with Herbicides
  • Gridling or ring barking
  • Basal Bark treatment
  • Injecting the tree with killing chemicals
  • Cut surface treatment

If you are interested in learning more about killing trees, I would refer back to my other article.

One more thing to keep in mind is that most of these methods will only end up killing the tree. Depending on the location of the tree, you will still have to remove it once it is dead.

The best way to kill a small Silver Birch tree

A small Betula Pendula is considered to be less than 10 feet tall. There are two methods you can use here.

The first one would be Cutting down the tree and treating the stump with a herbicide like Tordon RTU. It won’t be too much of an issue to cut down a tree this small and you can even get it done yourself. It also would be the fastest method.

The other method you can go for would be the Basal Bark Treatment. This species has slender trunks and when the Silver Birch is this young, the trunk will be less than 6-7 inches in diameter.

Basal bark treatment

Make sure that the tree is not wet while performing this technique as the chemicals are hydrophobic, which means they will not be absorbed as effectively.

More importantly, wear protective gear while using this method. (follow manufacturers instructions)

You will need a backpack sprayer for spraying the chemical, a strong herbicide, and an oil-based solvent. (List of Recommended products here)

Ideally, you should choose herbicides that contain Trycloper or Trycloper Ester as the main chemical. Even Imazapyr-based herbicides can be a good option. For example, Garlon 4 Ultra, Relegate, Forestry Garlon XRT, Aligarh Trycloper are good choices, but not available to the consumer market in a lot of states. The best alternative would be Tryclopyr from Amazon (Affiliate link)

  1. Mix the herbicide with diesel, basal oil, fuel oil, or kerosene.
  2. The ideal proportion for mixing should be 1 part herbicide and 4-part solvent, so about 20-25% concentration.
  3. Once you have the solution, spray the bottom 20 inches of the Betula Pendula tree with this solution and let it dry out.
  4. Repeat this process again for higher efficency once the first layer has been absorbed.

Some types of herbicides in the market can directly be used for this method without needing to mix with anything, like ‘Pathfinder II’, but these types of herbicides are more expensive. There are a lot of varieties in the market, so make sure to read the label before using them.

The best way to kill a large Silver Birch tree

A large Betula Pendula will only grow to about 70-80 feet tall. The best method to use here would be girdling or in other words ringbarking.

Ringbarking

Ringbarking is one of the easiest methods to kill a tree. By removing bark from the entire circumference of the tree, you will disturb the nutrient flow within the tree. This alone will start killing the tree over time.

  1. You will need to either get an axe, knife or chainsaw for this method.
  2. Simply remove a ring of bark around the entire tree, about 4-8 inches wide.
  3. Spray some herbicide along the exposed bark. You can go for the ‘Dow AgroSciences Tordon’ which you can find on Amazon or even use Roundup ot Triclopyr mentioned earlier.

Alternatively, you can also simply cut down the tree. But you will have to be more careful due to its size.

What’s the best time to kill Silver Birch?

Betula Pendula tend to shed their leaves during fall. Starting the killing process by ringbarking the tree in the winter would be the best time. This way the tree wouldn’t have nutrients to grow new leaves and seeds in spring.

Should you hire a professional tree removal service?

If your Betula Pendula is small, you can manage to kill it on your own. On the other hand, if the tree is big, it can get quite tricky. From killing trees to getting them cut down and transported, there are a lot of factors to consider, and hiring a professional will take care of most of these problems.

Hiring a professional is especially important if the tree is located near a house, or if you need the stump removed afterward.

The cost factor also plays an important role too. Figuring out all of these separate logistical details can turn out to be quite costly. I would refer back to my tree removal cost article for more information on that.

Frequently Asked Question

Can you kill a Silver Birch without cutting it down?

Yes, the preferred method for killing a Silver birch without cutting it down would be Basal Bark treatment when the tree is young and girdling when the tree is mature.

Can you kill a Betula Pendula with Vinegar?

If you have to kill shoots or small plants, undiluted vinegar can be sprayed on the foliage or leaves to kill the saplings over time. Vinegar will not be effective on established trees.

Will Antifreeze kill Betula Pendula?

Antifreeze or Ethylene Glycol will seriously harm trees and grass, but it won’t be able to kill large mature trees.

Conclusion

You can kill a Silver Birch or Betula Pendula tree using Basal bark Treatment when the tree is young and Girdling when the tree is mature. Alternatively, you can simply cut down the tree and treat the remaining stump with a herbicide.

Recommended reading:

  • How to kill a Horse Chestnut tree
  • Homemade tree and stump killer recepie

Robert

Hi!
I am the guy behind Theyardable. com. I grew up on a homestead and I am here to share the knowledge I have and things I learn while living in the countryside.

How to kill Birch trees

Birch or Betula, are small to medium-sized trees usually found in the Northern temperate regions. This species is usually short-lived and its bark has a papery texture.

Let’s take a look at how you can kill Birch trees and their root system.

Table of Contents

How to Kill Birch Trees?

Some of the most popular Birch killing methods are:

  • Foliar Spray
  • Cutting the tree down and treating the stump with Herbicides
  • Gridling or ring barking
  • Basal Bark treatment
  • Injecting the tree with killing chemicals
  • Cut surface treatment

The best way to kill a small Birch tree

A small Betula can be 10-25 feet tall. They also have a slender trunk which is usually pretty thin during this stage of their growth.

There are two methods you can use here, either Foliar Spray if the foliage of the tree is reachable, or you can also use the Basal Spray technique.

Foliar Spray Method

  1. For this method, you will need a backpack sprayer, proper prtotective equimpent, and a herbicide.
  2. Make sure there is no wind or rain during this as the herbicide will get carried away.
  3. Buy an effective herbicide like Roundup, Ortho, or Trclopyr. This for example is a good option. (Amazon Affiliate link)
  4. Make sure the leaves of the tree are not wet, it will prevent the chemicals from being absorbed.
  5. Spray the foliage or the leaves of the tree with the herbicide.
  6. The herbicide will be absorbed by the leaves and transported to the roots, effectively killing the tree and its root system.

If you have to kill multiple Birch trees, I suggest adding some dye to the herbicide so you can tell which trees have been covered by it.

Basal Spray Technique

This method can only be effective if the trunk is less than 6-7 inches in diameter.

  1. Make sure you are wearing protective gear while performing this method.
  2. You will need a backpack sprayer for spraying the chemical, a strong herbicide and an oil-based solvent like diesel, basal oil, fuel oil or kerosene.
  3. Ideally, you should choose herbicides that contain Trycloper or Trycloper Ester as the main chemical. For example, Garlon 4 Ultra, Relegate, Forestry Garlon XRT, Aligare Trycloper are good choices. Or use this. (Amazon affiliate link)
  4. The ideal proportion for mixing should be 1 part herbicide and 4-part solvent, so about 20-25% concentration.

Some types of herbicides in the market can directly be used for this method without needing to mix with anything like ‘Pathfinder II’. There are a lot of tree-killing herbicides in the market, so make sure to read the manufactures instructions before using them.

  1. Make sure that the tree is not wet while performing Basal Bark technique as the chemicals are hydrophobic.
  2. Once you have the solution, spray the bottom 3 feet of the Betula with this solution and let it dry out.
  3. Repeat the spraying process again once the first layer has been absorbed.

See my recommended herbicides here.

Cutting the tree down

Alternatively, if the tree is small you can simply cut the tree down and treat the stump with a herbicide. This won’t be as difficult when compared to cutting down a large tree.

What is the best time of the year to kill a Betula?

Birch tends to produce flowers during the early months of Autumn, therefore the perfect time to kill them would be before the flowering season. The tree will require more nutrition during flowering and killing them before will deprive them of this extra food.

The best way to kill a large Birch tree

A mature Birch can grow up to 60-70 feet tall. Cutting down the tree when it is this tall can be tricky to do on your own, but it can still be done if you are in a hurry or in an emergency situation.

Ringbarking and Chemical Injection would be perfect to tackle this tree.

Ringbarking

Ringbarking would be the easiest and the most efficient method for killing a large Birch as it will stop the nutrient flow from the roots to the leaves, eventually drying out the tree from nutrients.

  1. You will need to either get a hatchet, hammer and chisel or chainsaw for this method. Alternatevely, since Birches bark tends to come off quite easily, you can also use a knife.
  2. Remove a ring of bark around the entire tree, about 4-8 inches wide.
  3. Spray your preferred consentarted herbicide along the exposed bark.

Chemical Injection

This is a slightly more difficult method to carry out. Besides herbicide, you will need a drill.

  1. Drill holes at a downward angle, 2-3 inches deep along the circumference of the tree, about 2-3 feet above the ground.
  2. Inject a strong herbicide like Roundup or Tordon RTU from Amazon into these holes. (Affiliate link) and let it absorb.
  3. After about 6-7 days, inject more herbicide into these holes to increase the efficiency.

The European White Birch is the only variety, that is considered to be invasive, so you will have to be extra careful once it is dead to monitor any new sprout growth.

Should you hire a professional tree removal service?

If your Betula is young and small, you can manage to get it killed and removed on your own. Especially if it is located in a remote place.

On the other hand, if the tree is big and located in your backyard, it can be difficult. Killing the tree, getting it cut down and recycled – there are a lot of factors to consider, and hiring a professional service provider will take care of most of these problems.

Take a look at my tree removal cost guide here if you are interested in how much a Birch tree removal could cost you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you kill a Birch without cutting it down?

Yes, the preferred methods for killing a small Betula would be Foliar Spray and Basal bark treatment, while chemical injection and ringbarking for larger trees.

Can you use copper nails to kill Betula trees?

Yes, copper nails can kill a tree according to various sources. However, the number of copper nails necessary and the efficiency of the method are hard to predict.

What is the best time of the year to kill Betula trees?

Because this species is deciduous, you should kill it during the fall, once the Birch loses its leaves.

Conclusion

You can use numerous methods to kill a Birch or Betula tree. Foliar Spray and Basal Bark treatment would be suitable for small trees, while Ringbarking and Chemical Injection for larger trees. Alternatively, you can also cut the tree down.

Recommended reading:

  • How to kill an Oak tree

Robert

Hi!
I am the guy behind Theyardable.com. I grew up on a homestead and I am here to share the knowledge I have and things I learn while living in the countryside.

Care of bonsai » Bonsai Birch care

Bonsai Birch

Bonsai birch (lat. Betula) is a unique deciduous species. The tree has flexible branches that form a fairly large crown. The birch trunk is thin, sometimes straight, sometimes curved. Its surface has a rough structure, and the brown bark peels off in thin strips. A special feature of birch bonsai is its unusually shaped green foliage. In autumn, the tree completely changes its color to yellow-golden. Then the process of renewal of foliage gradually takes place, it falls off. The same stage is typical for the lower branches of the plant. In the art of bonsai, birch symbolizes fertility and the magic of healing, it is also called the tree of life.

Birch - botanical characteristics

Birch is a genus of deciduous trees of the Birch family. The plant is found in the Northern Hemisphere, which includes the territories of Europe, Asia and America. The tree is most common in Russia, where it grows in deciduous and coniferous forests. Birch has a powerful root system and atypical growth patterns. In the early years, the tree develops slowly, and then passes into an accelerated stage. The flowering of the species occurs due to male and female flowers. The former are formed in summer on the tops of elongated shoots, while the latter appear on short ones. The fruit is a lenticular nut.

Bonsai care Birch

Temperature:

Birch is grown in comfortable climatic conditions. In spring and summer, the tree prefers a temperature of 20-25 degrees Celsius, which means that bonsai can be temporarily grown outdoors, choosing a place protected from rain. In autumn, the birch not only changes the color of the foliage, but also sheds it, which means that it definitely needs to create a dormant period. Around mid-October, the temperature in the bonsai room is reduced to 5-10 degrees Celsius.

Lighting:

Birch bonsai belongs to light-loving species. A dwarf tree needs bright sunlight, but direct rays must be limited in the summer to avoid burns. In autumn and winter, the natural level of light drops, so additional lighting in the form of phytolamps is used. For uniform development of the crown, the bonsai is periodically rotated.

Watering:

Watering birch has several features. Bonsai is quite moisture-loving, which means that it is necessary to moisten the soil about three times a week, if we are talking about the spring-summer period. The soil in the bowl should not dry out too much, because the roots of the tree are in the upper part. But stagnant water will also negatively affect the state of the species. Another important nuance is that it is forbidden to water the birch bonsai in the sun, otherwise the leaves will become covered with brown spots along the edges. In autumn, the amount of watering is gradually reduced simultaneously with the temperature. In winter, the watering procedure is carried out no more than once a week. There is no urgent need to spray the tree, but it is acceptable on hot summer days. The crown is moistened only in the morning or evening hours, when there is no solar activity.

Fertilizer:

Birch will require additional nutrition. Plan the first feeding of the tree for April, when young leaves are just beginning to form. From April to June, use specialized bonsai fertilizer every two to four weeks. Then organics are added until September. Please note that it is impossible to feed a birch within two months after transplantation if the tree is sick and if it is at rest.

Transfer:

Birch bonsai should not be repotted frequently. Such manipulations are carried out every 3-4 years. It is best to transplant the tree in early spring, while carefully clearing the roots of half of the old substrate, and then partially pruning them to one-third. This is especially true for thick roots directed downwards, because they interfere with the development of lateral ones. If pests are noticed in the soil, the soil is replaced entirely. It is permissible not to increase the bonsai bowl, or choose a vessel slightly larger than the previous one (no more than 1 centimeter around the perimeter).

Formative pruning:

Shoots are pruned in March-November. If 3-5 leaves appeared on the branches, then no more than two are left, and the rest is cut off. Large branches cannot be removed in spring and summer, because the birch will release juice, which will not allow the cuts to be treated with putty, and this, in turn, will lead to partial or complete death of the trunk and death of the tree. Small branches can be adjusted year-round, especially if the crown has begun to lose shape. But in the stage of active growth, any manipulation is prohibited. Places of cuts must be treated with putty. Before wintering, leaves that have not fallen off naturally are removed.

Potential bonsai diseases Birches and their treatment

Plants, like people, are at risk of diseases. It is important to detect this in time and take action. A birch can be struck by a multi-berry pipeworm, which is characterized by special traces in the form of eggs on the veins, and the leaves themselves begin to curl into a tube. In such a situation, cut off the affected leaves, and treat the tree with an organochlorine preparation. Another problem is leaf curl. It manifests itself in the form of bubbles that burst and dry out, which leads to tearing of the leaves. What to do? Infected leaves are cut in two stages: in spring and autumn, and the bonsai is sprayed with a product containing copper. If you notice that the bark is cracking and falling off, and red dots appear on its surface, we are talking about birch cancer. All affected parts of the tree are removed, the diseased bark is removed and all this is treated with fungicides and a cut healer.

Types of birches. Unusual birch - the highlight of the landscape!

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landscaping

garden care

landscaping

Unusual varieties

Birches are different

In this article we will talk about new ornamental plants used in garden design - about dwarf ornamental forms of birch.

And we will be consulted by a specialist in the field of landscape design, nursery Alexander Semyanikhin.


- Alexander, after all, birch is a national tree in Russia, whole birch forests grow in central Russia ... There are so many of them - aren't they "bored", so to speak, and they are used in garden design?
- Oh, birch as an ornamental plant has great potential in landscape design, it is very interesting to use it to create a variety of park compositions. However, I’ll make a reservation right away - we will talk about dwarf forms of birch, because ordinary birches have significant drawbacks that limit their use. Firstly, other plants do not grow well under a birch - after all, it has a superficial root system, which is very branched and dries up the earth. And the area of ​​​​the root system significantly exceeds the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe crown, if it is projected onto the ground. Well, the shadow, of course, gives a decent birch. You also need to consider that birch does not like heat, so it does not take root very well in the south of the country and requires abundant watering. In addition, there is a lot of debris from it, fallen leaves ... in general, this is not a very suitable tree for decorating your garden. For small gardens or compositions, it is better to use low dwarf birches, which will look great on the lawn.

- Very interesting. What kind of birches do you offer?

- Let's go and see. Here, look - these are Jung's birches. Do you see how their trunks are intricately curved, what an irregular picturesque decorative shape of the crowns, what thin, low hanging branches? Jung's birch is called the "queen crybaby" because it is the only one of all birches whose branches hang down to the ground.

Jung's birch is a dwarf standard tree, very picturesque, it grows up to 2-2.5 meters, and its crown reaches a diameter of 2-3 meters. The tree grows slowly - about 30 centimeters per year. The bark of the Young birch, as you can see, is smooth and very white, with only occasional black cracks. The crown of the tree is branched, and the branches are densely covered with resinous warts.

The leaves of the Jung's birch are smaller than those of a real birch, they bloom in early spring and become pointed, have a triangular shape and look like saw teeth at the edges. In spring, the leaves are light green, and in autumn they turn into an inimitable yellow color. Young birch blooms in April-May, before the leaves bloom, the flowers look like yellowish-brown catkins and are honey-bearing.

Young birch is frost-resistant and does not require shelter for the winter. Yes, and caring for it is very simple - in the first year after planting, it must be watered with preparations that stimulate root formation, and after that it is only necessary to fertilize a couple of times a year and remove dry branches when they appear. It will not be superfluous to mulch the near-stem circle with a small layer - about five centimeters - with the help of stones, decorative wood chips or simply mowed grass.

- Magnificent seedlings! And what are these silvery trees with large leaves?


The most beautiful birch variety

- Yeah, you are admiring the three-year-old saplings of the Long Trunk birch, which, in principle, is considered the most beautiful birch on planet Earth. Its bark is painted silvery-white only in the first years of life, and after the sixth year the trunk and all branches become completely snow-white, without a hint of warts and black spots. This beauty came to us from the Himalayas, and its bark is so white that to this day the priests of Shiva write sacred mantras on it, which bring blessing and protection.

The Long Trunk birch combines the features of the two most popular birches: the useful Dorenbos birch, which has a very white bark and very large matte leaves, and the Yungi drooping birch, which has a drooping crown. Ultimately, the Long Trunk birch has an absolutely snow-white bark, without warts, large textured leaves and a drooping crown.

The striking feature of this birch is its ability to reach any height you need and stop there. Does it seem incredible? The fact is that Long Trunk is growing like a slate. That is, its trunk lies on the ground. But if at a young age it is tied to a support, then the trunk will hold up, like an ordinary birch. Depending on how high you tie the trunk, this height will be the height of the birch. Because above the place of the garter, all the branches will fall down like weeping forms.

This ornamental plant becomes a special decoration for the garden in autumn, at which time its oval leaves turn bright yellow and contrast especially effectively with the snow-white trunk and branches. In landscape design, it is used both in group plantings and as a single tree. The Long Trunk birch looks amazing near small ponds, which are located in gardens or parks, near recreation areas or near terraces.

And in general - its snow-white bark and wonderful umbrella hanging crown make this small picturesque tree a real treasure for creating elegant garden compositions! And given that birch phytoncides are a natural stimulant of the respiratory system, and the fragrant substances of young leaves calm the nervous system, then I would legally force everyone to plant Long Trunk birch in my gardens! This, of course, is a joke, but in every joke there is only a fraction of a joke, this is a really amazing plant.

Issue price

- I just love these trees! There are really two queens: Jung's birch - the "queen of crybabies" and Long Trunk birch - the most beautiful birch on Earth! I think our readers will be interested in how much such beauties cost, and in what form are dwarf birch seedlings sold?

- Ornamental birch trees are usually sold in stores in their adult state, being grafted. We also have birches. But, in addition, we work with fairly serious companies from which we buy planting material, and therefore we have a special offer for people with low incomes who dream of making their garden beautiful.

These are the same Jung and Long Trunk birches, adult specimens of which cost up to $ 500 - but in “childhood” they cost only $ 10, although already with their own roots. Such seedlings are grown using the "in vitro" technology, and in order for this birch to acquire the decorative qualities for which it is valued, it just takes more time - 2-3 years.


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