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'Topping' Silver birch trees

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Hi,

I live in the center of France and I have 3 silver birch trees near my barn*and I want to reduce the height in case we have strong winds and one falls on my*barn. 5 years ago my wife asked 2*local farmers to top them as can be seen in the first photo (they said this was the way). Now they need something doing as can be seen in the second photo but having read much about not topping birch what should I do please? I imagine if I just cut each large vertical say 20cm above*where they join the main trunk each will eventually send up a few large verticals again.

:confused1:

Cheers,

David

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5976727c81a5e_Treetoday.jpg.81f1bec51edad8bde0f92930f968ddc9.jpg

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Yes, it's all a front.

 

I just get triggered (very current word I know) by the "fell and replant" dogma. I remember at college we were indoctrinated by this and I spouted it for a bit, much to my clients bewilderment.

It's right up there with "thin and lift"

Over time I came to see that telling a 65 year old that they should fell a previously topped sycamore, that they were perfectly happy with, and replace it with a cherry or suchlike, bearing in mind they'd probably be dead before it replaced their sycamore in "amenity" value, was stupid (And bad business)

Edited by Mick Dempsey

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Yes, it's all a front.

 

I just get triggered (very current word I know) by the "fell and replant" dogma. I remember at college we were indoctrinated by this and I spouted it for a bit, much to my clients bewilderment.

It's right up there with "thin and lift"

Over time I came to see that telling a 65 year old that they should fell a previously topped sycamore, that they were perfectly happy with, and replace it with a cherry or suchlike, bearing in mind they'd probably be dead before it replaced their sycamore in "amenity" value, was stupid (And bad business)

 

Good job people like Capability Brown and his clients weren't so short sighted, planting parks and avenues that they'd never see in maturity!

 

 

Wonder what sort of world we're going to leave our grandchildren? (hypothetical question generally - not just topped trees:biggrin:)

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Yes, it's all a front.

 

I just get triggered (very current word I know) by the "fell and replant" dogma. I remember at college we were indoctrinated by this and I spouted it for a bit, much to my clients bewilderment.

It's right up there with "thin and lift"

Over time I came to see that telling a 65 year old that they should fell a previously topped sycamore, that they were perfectly happy with, and replace it with a cherry or suchlike, bearing in mind they'd probably be dead before it replaced their sycamore in "amenity" value, was stupid (And bad business)

 

I wholly see your point here Mick..."onist!" :001_rolleyes: (pragmatist to the core)

 

My point is that wherever we remove a tree, and that should ideally always be the last option, we should aim to replace it, as a general principle. The SBs are relatively short lived compared to Syccie so I do think that is / was a viable proposal here.

 

Hope yer well,

Paul

 

PS "getting triggered" = new to me :/ (perhaps I need to get out more)

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Gary, that's reductio ad absurdum (thanks Big Bang Theory!)

 

I don't see why, maybe I'm being dense this afternoon.

 

Has anyone ever planted an oak, beech, redwood etc and seen it reach maturity? But if our forefathers hadn't, we wouldn't be seeing them today -I'm talking about urban settings, not woods and forests.

 

The head forester at Burghley is planting enormous avenues of limes, grown from layered cuttings of 250-300 yr old trees. He'll never see them in maturity, neither will the 'house's' current owners - should they not bother?

 

Our urban parks are full of 200 yr old trees, the people who planned and planted them never saw them in maturity. Our roadside avenues - introduced by the Victorians, the Meikleour beech hedge, Wimpole Hall's Elm Avenues - now gone.

 

Should we stop trying to find/breed DED elms, cos we'll never see them reach maturity?

 

How have we become so short-sighted and selfish?

 

Not getting at you Mick, just something that peeves me.

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I wholly see your point here Mick..."onist!" :001_rolleyes: (pragmatist to the core)

 

My point is that wherever we remove a tree, and that should ideally always be the last option, we should aim to replace it, as a general principle. The SBs are relatively short lived compared to Syccie so I do think that is / was a viable proposal here.

 

Hope yer well,

Paul

 

PS "getting triggered" = new to me :/ (perhaps I need to get out more)

 

 

 

Hi Paul,

 

 

Removing a tree is the first option, if that's what the client really wants.

 

Ps radiant with good health thanks:001_smile:

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I don't see why, maybe I'm being dense this afternoon.

 

Has anyone ever planted an oak, beech, redwood etc and seen it reach maturity? But if our forefathers hadn't, we wouldn't be seeing them today -I'm talking about urban settings, not woods and forests.

 

The head forester at Burghley is planting enormous avenues of limes, grown from layered cuttings of 250-300 yr old trees. He'll never see them in maturity, neither will the 'house's' current owners - should they not bother?

 

Our urban parks are full of 200 yr old trees, the people who planned and planted them never saw them in maturity. Our roadside avenues - introduced by the Victorians, the Meikleour beech hedge, Wimpole Hall's Elm Avenues - now gone.

 

Should we stop trying to find/breed DED elms, cos we'll never see them reach maturity?

 

How have we become so short-sighted and selfish?

 

Not getting at you Mick, just something that peeves me.

 

But those have little to do with this guy who sits outside his house in the shade of his birch trees. Telling him to cut them down, plant an apple and put a parasol up.

 

These people are our bread and butter clients, not the Duke of Cumberland

 

(Cue someone who works for the Duke of Cumberland!)

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Working for my local authority ive seen first hand their idea of 'remove and replace',remove a 20 year old beech from a park and replace by planting a row of alders as a windbreak...seriously.

It at least should be the same species imo but on the outside the council can say "We replace every tree removed blah blah.

In this case,to me,its just 3 birch next to a farm,top,remove whatever the client wants,all we can do is advise and take it from there.

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The SBs are relatively short lived compared to Syccie so I do think that is / was a viable proposal here.

 

Hope yer well,

Paul

 

There's a Silver Birch down our garden. It was a sapling when we came here 30 years ago and I ignored it then it somehow became something with 4 leaders all about 10" thick and growing over our and the neighbours gardens either side so I took a couple of the trunks out and trimmed the side branches. It put out a load of epicormic growth and the two remaining trunks have thickened even more and it is now about 40' tall so another trunk is going to be firewood as soon as I get round it again. There's a Hawthorn tree behind it that keeps getting butchered into a lollipop as well and it seems to thrive on it and I have a couple of small wall side Worcester Pearmain Apple trees growing. Cut the tops off the Birches and they will bush out is my finding. I also find that trees seem to grow unaided by me, I only planted the apples but I had Rowan, Cherry, Birch and Ash plus the Hawthorn and the garden is not big enough for all that lot and the stuff my wife wants to grow so the trees lost.

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