Features of the use of forest birches in the landscape design of the site

Not all owners of their own plots strive to give the territory an orderly look, where a person’s hand is felt in the strict placement and selection of plants. Some are closer to natural landscapes, with ordinary trees from the forest, dandelions and field herbs instead of a lawn. Most often, such a landscape is left by summer residents, who already got the plot with mature trees. Our people are especially not indifferent to birch, because in its beauty it can compete with rare foreign cultures. But let’s see if a forest birch is always appropriate in the design of a site, and which varieties should be preferred (in order to avoid problems with neighbors).

If this tree is not yet at your dacha, but the dream of a birch tree near the porch has already begun to excite the heart, first of all, weigh all the pros and cons that the forest dweller will bring you.

The “dark side” of birch: features of growth

Uncultured, i.e. wild birch trees grow very quickly and reach incredible sizes. Today’s half-meter seedling will overtake the height of the house in five years, and in 20-25 years it can shoot up to 45 meters. Such a solitaire is very harmonious in a large area, where the house is large and there is enough territory. But the sight of a huge tree near a small country house makes the structure tiny and ridiculous.

The birch grove is quite harmonious against the background of modern design solutions – paved paths, a pool and other small forms, if they are designed in the Russian style

In addition to dimensions, the following should be considered:

  1. The roots of birches are located in the surface layers of the soil and spread out to the sides within a radius of 6-10 meters (depending on the variety). At the same time, they are so actively sucking food from the ground that it is not easy for even ordinary grass to get along with them. This means you have to think carefully about the design under the tree and experiment with different plants until you find a “tolerant neighbor”.
  2. An adult tree absorbs more than 60 liters per day in summer. water, and other ornamental crops (under it) only crumbs of liquid remain.
  3. There is a lot of debris from birch, it often renews foliage, and weeping varieties shed even thin twigs. So it will become more difficult to keep the area clean.
  4. If your site borders on neighbors, then an improperly planted birch can cause contention, since it casts a shadow far away, blocking the light of the plants in the lower tiers. And even with 4 meters from the fence permitted by SNiP, an adult tree creates a shady spot over a much larger area.
  5. Fruit trees do not get along in close proximity to a birch, so you cannot plant a garden within a radius of 10 meters.

But all these disadvantages easily turn into advantages if you approach the landings wisely.

The obvious advantages of birch plantings

So, it was said above that an adult tree is a powerful pump that pumps moisture out of the ground. If you are “lucky” to buy a summer cottage in the lowlands, where in spring many places dry out until the end of May, and after rains there is a swamp for weeks, then a forest birch will be very useful for your landscape. It normalizes the moisture level not only in the radius of the root system, but also 10 meters ahead. So in low-lying areas, birch alleys are planted in the direction where the natural slope of the earth goes.

The height of the birch can play into the hands of those summer residents whose plot is located in an open area and is blown by all the winds. By planting several trees from the north (or the side where the wind blows more often), you will protect fruit trees, grapes and ornamental crops from freezing of branches, because without the wind, frost is much easier to tolerate. Only when the birches become very large will it be necessary to plant medium-sized varieties in the second row (it is possible not to birch trees), since the main crown will be too high and will not be able to close the lower tier of plantings from bad weather.

Plus, fallen leaves of birch trees are an excellent raw material for composting. If you knock down a box or make a compost pit, then every year you will have at hand rich soil for feeding the beds and flower beds. Small twigs are also useful: they will play the role of an interlayer in the compost, preventing the leaves from thickening and helping air circulation.

An alley of birches planted along the fence will protect more delicate ornamental shrubs, roses from strong winds, and there will be less blowing through the windows

Lovers of bath procedures will be able to cut brooms in sufficient quantity, especially since haircuts help to form a more lush crown. True, if the tree moves 20 meters away, you won’t reach the branches. In the spring, the whole family will have a healing juice on hand.

If the arguments “for” outweighed all the “cons” – plant boldly. Moreover, it is quite within the power of an inexperienced gardener to restrain the growth of a forest beauty. As a rule, small birches are brought to the site, up to a meter high, because small seedlings take root more easily. Decide immediately what height will be the most harmonious in your landscape.

As soon as after a year or two the birch reaches the desired height, cut off the top. So you will give an impetus to the growth of side branches, make the crown thicker and stop growth forever. Pruning is carried out in the summer and after leaf fall.

If a birch tree with several trunks has sprouted on your site, twist them together and tie them. In a couple of years, this tree will take on its original shape.

In the wild, there are common and weeping species. The latter do not grow above 20 meters. But if you want to find a sapling of a weeping variety in the forest, you hardly recognize it in appearance, since in “childhood” birches look almost the same. Look for mature plants growing nearby. The wind rarely carries a different variety over a long distance.

But if you come across an ordinary birch, you can turn it into a weeping one by hand. Cut off the top of the head, and bend the side branches, striving upward, and hang them on each weight (water bottles, pieces of iron, etc.). The main thing is not to overdo it with weight. You need to start with small weights, gradually increasing their weight. Then in winter the branches will not break and there will be no frost breaks.

To give the branches a certain direction, pins are driven into the ground (since the tent is fixed) and branches with weights are tied to them. For the winter, the place of contact between the rope and the branch must be wrapped with a rag so that the bark does not fray.

And what if you got the forest beauty in an adult state? There are several options here: if the size of the site allows, leave it as it is, and arrange a rest area under the birch. Knock down a bench around the trunk, hang a hammock, or set up garden furniture. In such a place, you will be cool even in the heat. A children’s room for girls will perfectly fit under the canopy of foliage.

A cool twilight reigns under adult birches all summer long, so they hang hammocks, put swings and sun loungers, or equip a children’s corner

The second option is to give the birch a more decorative look. It is used by those summer residents who plan to create a more orderly landscape, with trimmed ornamental shrubs, lawns, paths, etc. In this case, the birch can be beautifully pruned:

  1. Leave the branches only in the upper part, cutting off the crown and all the side branches growing below. This version of the haircut is called “under the palm tree”, since this tree has all the leaves coming out of one point of growth.
  2. Cut off all the branches and the crown, leaving 10 cm from the thick branches on the trunk (imagine how many brooms you will tie at once!). Then, after a couple of years, the birch will be covered with a large number of young twigs extending from the stumps left, and will resemble a kind of green column.

Be prepared that not every adult tree will withstand such a shearing. A birch can be sick for a couple of years until it goes from shock. Another disadvantage of cutting adult trunks is that the roots will instantly give growth. So the birch is insured against death and shoots out new “offspring”. True, it is not harder to deal with them than with a plum or cherry overgrowth.

To rid the area of ​​extra shade, the branches of birches are completely cut down almost to the very top of the head (haircut a la palm tree)

Since the land under the birch will be very dry, not all ornamental plants will be able to survive in such conditions. True, in the heat you still have to water (like any flower garden!).

Here’s what the list of cultures looks like that can get along with a forest “guest”:

  1. strawberry… Bring a couple of bushes from the forest and plant them right in the grass. It is much more interesting for children to collect such berries, to pick them for weeks in the garden.
  2. Bulbous… These droughts are not afraid, as they bloom in early spring, when there is enough moisture even under the birches. And in the summer you will already dig them up.
  3. Ferns… A species of plants that is very resistant to any climate conditions. They will braid all the space under the birch, if you give them free rein.
  4. Lily-of-the-valley… Like the previous plant, they cover the soil with a dense carpet, not at all suffering from shade and dryness.
  5. Anemone (or anemone). It blooms throughout May and looks organically under a forest tree, as she herself is a native of the forest.

As you can see, most of the plants that can “make friends” with birch are forest dwellers. You may not even buy in the market, but go to the forest and “smuggle” up a lot of the necessary sprouts there. True, it is better to do this in early spring so that the degree of survival is maximum.

Most often, plants of the spring flowering period are planted under birches, since they have enough moisture to form peduncles after winter.

If the planting of birch is still only in the project, there is time to think about whether you need a wild tree. On 4-5 acres, it is worth doing with cultivated, grafted varieties that do not grow above 3 meters, which means there will be fewer problems.

Jung belongs to dwarf birches, it is often grafted onto a stem, so such a plant is appropriate in any design of the territory

Most popular in landscape design:

  • Jung’s variety, whose crown resembles a lush asymmetrical umbrella, beautifully falling to the ground;
  • variety Gracilis, distinguished by its straight trunk and weeping branches;
  • Long Trunk variety, with a dazzling white trunk without a single black dot, large carved leaves and a falling crown.

With proper placement and care, birch will become the main attraction in your country house and the envy of your neighbors.

Anna Evans


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