Why White Paper Birch Trees?
Grown as an ornamental, with the striking distinction of its white bark year-round, the White Paper Birch Tree makes a unique statement. Once mature (give it 3 to 5 years) the trunk turns white and the bark actually “peels” into small sheets.
It’s a wonderful accompaniment to greenery and bright florals in the spring and summer months. You’ll appreciate its beauty in autumn and winter, too. As the leaves fall and colors dull around your landscape with the change of seasons, your White Paper Birch continues to add interest with its one-of-a-kind trunk. And in addition to the distinctive white trunk, you’ll get additional bonuses when large bright green leaves sprout, providing ample shade to assist in cooling your home during warmer months.
To accompany the vast leaves, bright yellow flowers blossom between April and May. The combination of the white, yellow and green hues is truly remarkable!
Planting & Care
1. Planting: Plant after all dangers of frost have passed. Select a spot that will receive about 8 hours of sunlight a day and have the roots/soil in a cool, shaded place. Dig a hole that is three times as wide as the root ball and just as deep. Keep the tree as straight as possible and begin to back fill the hole.
Repeat the procedure until the hole is filled and the tree stands upright on its own. Younger trees may need to be staked. Finally, put a slow release of water on a hose and leave next to the root system area for a couple hours to be sure the tree is watered deeply.
Spread a three-foot layer of mulch around the base of the tree with wood chips, shredded bark or leaf compost.
FGT Tip: Stakes can typically be removed after a year of planting. A good way to determine if your tree ready to stand on its own: Shake the center – if the root ball has no movement, then it’s ready to stand on its own.
2. Watering: Provide deep a watering for the White Paper Birch weekly, using a hose next to the base with a slow flow of water for 2 hours during growing season. You may need to increase to twice weekly during hot, dry summers. Reduce watering towards the end of August so your tree can winterize for its dormant stage.
3. Fertilizing: Birches should be fertilized once or twice a year, once in spring and again mid-summer. Fertilize in the late spring and early summer with a product that targets root growth, such as 10-10-10.
4. Pruning: The best time to prune birch trees is late summer or early autumn. Start by removing side shoots and suckers first and then decide which branches to remove. Cut back branches that are less than 2 inches wide as close to the trunk as possible.