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Old 02-02-2004, 04:35 PM
Sue
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot



Hello

We have recently been given a silver birch tree (betula pendula)...container
grown,about 4ft 6 ins tall.

Our garden has barely enough space for such a tree if we allowed it to reach
its full size so we are considering restricting its growth by growing it in
a slightly bigger pot than the one it came in, to restrict its roots.

Any comments please. Would this work? How do we stop the roots growing into
the soil via the drainage holes, how often should it be fed and can it be
pruned without spoiling its shape? Basically I suppose we are talking big
bonsai!

Thanks for any help,

Sue


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Old 02-02-2004, 05:16 PM
Martin Sykes
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot



"Sue" wrote in message
...

Hello

We have recently been given a silver birch tree (betula

pendula)...container
grown,about 4ft 6 ins tall.

Our garden has barely enough space for such a tree if we allowed it to

reach
its full size so we are considering restricting its growth by growing it

in
a slightly bigger pot than the one it came in, to restrict its roots.

Any comments please. Would this work? How do we stop the roots growing

into
the soil via the drainage holes, how often should it be fed and can it be
pruned without spoiling its shape? Basically I suppose we are talking big
bonsai!


If you raise the pot on some of those little terracotta feet, it will let
the drainage holes work, and roots will be reluctant to grow through the air
down to the soil. Any that do can be easily cut off.

--
Martin & Anna Sykes
( Remove x's when replying )
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~sykesm


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Old 02-02-2004, 05:20 PM
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Nov 2003
Location: East Yorkshire
Posts: 37
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot

We grow Birch trees, but as they have been only going for a quid or two at the sales I have kept most of last year's sellable ones in pots for another year. Mine are in old buckets at the moment, about 15L in size, and most of them are between 5 and 7 foot tall.

Even much larger ones have done well in 15L pots, but they never look as good as the same sized ones we have growing in our hedgerows.

What I would suggest for you is to plant it out in the garden and prune away to your hearts content each winter - you will easily stunt the growth yet still have a gorgous, twisted, open canopy that can be basically any size you wish.

Having seen the ones at Hickstead showjumping arena, I have been lopping branches off out 8 foot tall birches for the past two winters to keep them bonsai style, all twisted and easy to look at the view through. It works well. They may eventually grow to 20 or so feet, but that'll take years and they look fantastic in the mean time. The bark at this time of year is to die for!

I keep reading that they lose sap if pruned, but haven't found this a problem. They are also host to about 350 insects, which is a good thing. We feed them with a 6 inch layer of rotted horse muck each winter, but they really don't need it.

In the pots they dry out too quickly, even plunged in soil, and blow about a good deal.

Hope this helps. Birches are a favourite of mine.
__________________
I'm thinking of starting a lawn laying business and calling it Sodding Perfection
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Old 02-02-2004, 05:40 PM
Martin Sykes
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot



"Sue" wrote in message
...

Hello

We have recently been given a silver birch tree (betula

pendula)...container
grown,about 4ft 6 ins tall.

Our garden has barely enough space for such a tree if we allowed it to

reach
its full size so we are considering restricting its growth by growing it

in
a slightly bigger pot than the one it came in, to restrict its roots.

Any comments please. Would this work? How do we stop the roots growing

into
the soil via the drainage holes, how often should it be fed and can it be
pruned without spoiling its shape? Basically I suppose we are talking big
bonsai!


If you raise the pot on some of those little terracotta feet, it will let
the drainage holes work, and roots will be reluctant to grow through the air
down to the soil. Any that do can be easily cut off.

--
Martin & Anna Sykes
( Remove x's when replying )
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~sykesm


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Old 02-02-2004, 06:05 PM
Nick Maclaren
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot

In article ,
Martin Sykes wrote:


"Sue" wrote in message
...

We have recently been given a silver birch tree (betula

pendula)...container
grown,about 4ft 6 ins tall.

Our garden has barely enough space for such a tree if we allowed it to

reach
its full size so we are considering restricting its growth by growing it

in
a slightly bigger pot than the one it came in, to restrict its roots.

Any comments please. Would this work? How do we stop the roots growing

into
the soil via the drainage holes, how often should it be fed and can it be
pruned without spoiling its shape? Basically I suppose we are talking big
bonsai!


If you raise the pot on some of those little terracotta feet, it will let
the drainage holes work, and roots will be reluctant to grow through the air
down to the soil. Any that do can be easily cut off.


I can assure you that birch will NOT be reluctant to send its roots
down! It has the most invasive roots of any native tree, bar none,
which is impressive when you consider the problems caused by willows.

However, they can be cut off. Birch does not respond well to pruning,
and may not like being in a pot (I don't know). But it is a quick
growing tree, and it isn't unreasonable to grow one until it gets too
big and then cut it down. Try and avoid getting a tree preservation
order on it, though ....


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.


  #6   Report Post  
Old 02-02-2004, 06:05 PM
Nick Maclaren
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot

In article ,
Martin Sykes wrote:


"Sue" wrote in message
...

We have recently been given a silver birch tree (betula

pendula)...container
grown,about 4ft 6 ins tall.

Our garden has barely enough space for such a tree if we allowed it to

reach
its full size so we are considering restricting its growth by growing it

in
a slightly bigger pot than the one it came in, to restrict its roots.

Any comments please. Would this work? How do we stop the roots growing

into
the soil via the drainage holes, how often should it be fed and can it be
pruned without spoiling its shape? Basically I suppose we are talking big
bonsai!


If you raise the pot on some of those little terracotta feet, it will let
the drainage holes work, and roots will be reluctant to grow through the air
down to the soil. Any that do can be easily cut off.


I can assure you that birch will NOT be reluctant to send its roots
down! It has the most invasive roots of any native tree, bar none,
which is impressive when you consider the problems caused by willows.

However, they can be cut off. Birch does not respond well to pruning,
and may not like being in a pot (I don't know). But it is a quick
growing tree, and it isn't unreasonable to grow one until it gets too
big and then cut it down. Try and avoid getting a tree preservation
order on it, though ....


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
  #7   Report Post  
Old 02-02-2004, 06:10 PM
Nick Maclaren
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot

In article ,
Martin Sykes wrote:


"Sue" wrote in message
...

We have recently been given a silver birch tree (betula

pendula)...container
grown,about 4ft 6 ins tall.

Our garden has barely enough space for such a tree if we allowed it to

reach
its full size so we are considering restricting its growth by growing it

in
a slightly bigger pot than the one it came in, to restrict its roots.

Any comments please. Would this work? How do we stop the roots growing

into
the soil via the drainage holes, how often should it be fed and can it be
pruned without spoiling its shape? Basically I suppose we are talking big
bonsai!


If you raise the pot on some of those little terracotta feet, it will let
the drainage holes work, and roots will be reluctant to grow through the air
down to the soil. Any that do can be easily cut off.


I can assure you that birch will NOT be reluctant to send its roots
down! It has the most invasive roots of any native tree, bar none,
which is impressive when you consider the problems caused by willows.

However, they can be cut off. Birch does not respond well to pruning,
and may not like being in a pot (I don't know). But it is a quick
growing tree, and it isn't unreasonable to grow one until it gets too
big and then cut it down. Try and avoid getting a tree preservation
order on it, though ....


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
  #8   Report Post  
Old 02-02-2004, 06:30 PM
Nick Maclaren
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot

In article ,
Martin Sykes wrote:


"Sue" wrote in message
...

We have recently been given a silver birch tree (betula

pendula)...container
grown,about 4ft 6 ins tall.

Our garden has barely enough space for such a tree if we allowed it to

reach
its full size so we are considering restricting its growth by growing it

in
a slightly bigger pot than the one it came in, to restrict its roots.

Any comments please. Would this work? How do we stop the roots growing

into
the soil via the drainage holes, how often should it be fed and can it be
pruned without spoiling its shape? Basically I suppose we are talking big
bonsai!


If you raise the pot on some of those little terracotta feet, it will let
the drainage holes work, and roots will be reluctant to grow through the air
down to the soil. Any that do can be easily cut off.


I can assure you that birch will NOT be reluctant to send its roots
down! It has the most invasive roots of any native tree, bar none,
which is impressive when you consider the problems caused by willows.

However, they can be cut off. Birch does not respond well to pruning,
and may not like being in a pot (I don't know). But it is a quick
growing tree, and it isn't unreasonable to grow one until it gets too
big and then cut it down. Try and avoid getting a tree preservation
order on it, though ....


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
  #9   Report Post  
Old 02-02-2004, 11:18 PM
Sue
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot

Thanks for your replies. You've given me plenty to think about. In my
experience silver birch roots seem to grow quite near the top of the surface
of the soil. We did have one in a previous garden and we found the
encroaching roots to be a problem in near-by flower borders.
However the idea of planting in the ground and pruning seems a good one as
it would get over the problem of watering.
Maybe we should buy another tree and try both methods!
By the way, can't help noticing the relevance of our names. Any advance on
Hazell or Wood.....?

--
Sue Wood, Derby, England.
Please note: Return email address is modified
in an effort to reduce spam. For personal reply,
please remove NOSPPAAM from address as viewed in properties.
Sorry if this is a pain.
"Hazell B" wrote in message
s.com...
We grow Birch trees, but as they have been only going for a quid or two
at the sales I have kept most of last year's sellable ones in pots for
another year. Mine are in old buckets at the moment, about 15L in size,
and most of them are between 5 and 7 foot tall.

Even much larger ones have done well in 15L pots, but they never look
as good as the same sized ones we have growing in our hedgerows.

What I would suggest for you is to plant it out in the garden and prune
away to your hearts content each winter - you will easily stunt the
growth yet still have a gorgous, twisted, open canopy that can be
basically any size you wish.

Having seen the ones at Hickstead showjumping arena, I have been
lopping branches off out 8 foot tall birches for the past two winters
to keep them bonsai style, all twisted and easy to look at the view
through. It works well. They may eventually grow to 20 or so feet, but
that'll take years and they look fantastic in the mean time. The bark
at this time of year is to die for!

I keep reading that they lose sap if pruned, but haven't found this a
problem. They are also host to about 350 insects, which is a good
thing. We feed them with a 6 inch layer of rotted horse muck each
winter, but they really don't need it.

In the pots they dry out too quickly, even plunged in soil, and blow
about a good deal.

Hope this helps. Birches are a favourite of mine.
--
Hazell B
I'm thinking of starting a lawn laying business and calling it Sodding
Perfection
------------------------------------------------------------------------
posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk



---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.576 / Virus Database: 365 - Release Date: 30/01/2004


  #10   Report Post  
Old 02-02-2004, 11:18 PM
Sue
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot

Thanks for your replies. You've given me plenty to think about. In my
experience silver birch roots seem to grow quite near the top of the surface
of the soil. We did have one in a previous garden and we found the
encroaching roots to be a problem in near-by flower borders.
However the idea of planting in the ground and pruning seems a good one as
it would get over the problem of watering.
Maybe we should buy another tree and try both methods!
By the way, can't help noticing the relevance of our names. Any advance on
Hazell or Wood.....?

--
Sue Wood, Derby, England.
Please note: Return email address is modified
in an effort to reduce spam. For personal reply,
please remove NOSPPAAM from address as viewed in properties.
Sorry if this is a pain.
"Hazell B" wrote in message
s.com...
We grow Birch trees, but as they have been only going for a quid or two
at the sales I have kept most of last year's sellable ones in pots for
another year. Mine are in old buckets at the moment, about 15L in size,
and most of them are between 5 and 7 foot tall.

Even much larger ones have done well in 15L pots, but they never look
as good as the same sized ones we have growing in our hedgerows.

What I would suggest for you is to plant it out in the garden and prune
away to your hearts content each winter - you will easily stunt the
growth yet still have a gorgous, twisted, open canopy that can be
basically any size you wish.

Having seen the ones at Hickstead showjumping arena, I have been
lopping branches off out 8 foot tall birches for the past two winters
to keep them bonsai style, all twisted and easy to look at the view
through. It works well. They may eventually grow to 20 or so feet, but
that'll take years and they look fantastic in the mean time. The bark
at this time of year is to die for!

I keep reading that they lose sap if pruned, but haven't found this a
problem. They are also host to about 350 insects, which is a good
thing. We feed them with a 6 inch layer of rotted horse muck each
winter, but they really don't need it.

In the pots they dry out too quickly, even plunged in soil, and blow
about a good deal.

Hope this helps. Birches are a favourite of mine.
--
Hazell B
I'm thinking of starting a lawn laying business and calling it Sodding
Perfection
------------------------------------------------------------------------
posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk



---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.576 / Virus Database: 365 - Release Date: 30/01/2004




  #11   Report Post  
Old 02-02-2004, 11:19 PM
Cicero
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot


"Sue" wrote in message
...
Thanks for your replies. You've given me plenty to think about. In my
experience silver birch roots seem to grow quite near the top of the

surface
of the soil. We did have one in a previous garden and we found the
encroaching roots to be a problem in near-by flower borders.
However the idea of planting in the ground and pruning seems a good one as
it would get over the problem of watering.
Maybe we should buy another tree and try both methods!
By the way, can't help noticing the relevance of our names. Any advance on
Hazell or Wood.....?


============
Well, there was 'Poison Ivy' in Coronation Street' many years ago if memory
serves me correctly.

Cic.


  #12   Report Post  
Old 02-02-2004, 11:19 PM
Cicero
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot


"Sue" wrote in message
...
Thanks for your replies. You've given me plenty to think about. In my
experience silver birch roots seem to grow quite near the top of the

surface
of the soil. We did have one in a previous garden and we found the
encroaching roots to be a problem in near-by flower borders.
However the idea of planting in the ground and pruning seems a good one as
it would get over the problem of watering.
Maybe we should buy another tree and try both methods!
By the way, can't help noticing the relevance of our names. Any advance on
Hazell or Wood.....?


============
Well, there was 'Poison Ivy' in Coronation Street' many years ago if memory
serves me correctly.

Cic.


  #13   Report Post  
Old 04-02-2004, 07:43 AM
Christopher Norton
 
Posts: n/a
Default silver birch in a pot in a pot

The message
from "Sue" contains these words:



Hello


We have recently been given a silver birch tree (betula pendula)...container
grown,about 4ft 6 ins tall.


Our garden has barely enough space for such a tree if we allowed it to reach
its full size so we are considering restricting its growth by growing it in
a slightly bigger pot than the one it came in, to restrict its roots.


Any comments please. Would this work? How do we stop the roots growing into
the soil via the drainage holes, how often should it be fed and can it be
pruned without spoiling its shape? Basically I suppose we are talking big
bonsai!


Thanks for any help,


Sue



Cut the roots back by one third each year and give the top a suitable
pruning of the same ratio. Put back in the same pot. By continually
pruning and cutting the top you should get some decent reduction in the
leaf size that will make the tree be in scale of itself.

I`ve one thats been in a similar situation for about 4 years. No problem.


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