Return to the Trees Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
River Birch propagation

Posted by v1rtu0s1ty Zone 5a, Northern IL (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 27, 08 at 1:52

Hi folks,

I'm having a hard time finding information to propagate a river birch tree. I did find some info that it can be propagated by cuttings. However, I couldn't find detailed instructions on how to do the cuttings. I would like to know how it is done, when it is done, length of the cut, should there be leaves, etc.

Thanks in advance!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: River Birch propagation

From: 'The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation - From Seed to Tissue Culture' Second Edition: Dirr and Heuser, JR. (2006)

Betula nigra
SEED: Matures in spring, shed at theis time, and will germinate without any pretreatment.

CUTTINGS: becoming more popular since the advent of 'Heritage'. June-July, 1000 strength (PPM IBA-Solution), peat:perlite, mist good rooting. Cuttings are best left undisturbed and handled when growht ensues in spring. Can be rooted in fall before leaf drop. Overwinter cuttings in flats until following spring.

Terminal and sub-terminal (basal) cuttings, 6" long, lower leaves removed, wound, peat:sand, mist, 70F bottom heat, greenhouse. Cuttings were taken from a 13-year-old tree in late July (Chicago). Ninety percent rooting of basal cuttings with 2% Benlate-talc without hormone after 6 weeks. Terminal cuttings rooted 60% with the same treatment. Basal cuttings broke bud and grew while most terminal cuttings did not. In all cases, terminal cuttings ttreated with auxin rooted better than basal cuttings treated with auxin [The Plant Propagator 23(2):a5-7 (1997)]

River birch responds to extended photoperiod and cuttings that were rooted in June (Georgia), fertilized with 18-6-12 Osmocote and place under interrupted night lighting (10 pm to 2 amA) continued to grow. In fact, the growth was so fast and structurally weak that the plants assumed a weeping posture.

Here's what you want to do basically. I root cuttings in June/July etc-

build a box or use tupperware flats with tops with at least 6" of depth and then cover the flats. Spray with a fungicide about once every two weeks. Use your 1000 strength hormone. Stick the cuttings, cover your box and keep it in shade or under a large tree so that the sun intensity is always very minimal. Dappled light but never direct light is fine....very good.

Here's a few photos of Dawn Redwood cuttings (from a special tree) - othewise I'd of simply grown them from seed.

Cuttings taken and kept in shade (in my basement) in water:
Photobucket

I prefer a very deep box. My root-systems can travel over ~18". The box has multiple layers of hardware cloth at the bottom for drainage and to hold the soil in. You see that I propped the box up on a couple 2x4's:
Photobucket

50/50 perlite/peat
Photobucket

Cuttings were stuck. I use a pencil to make holes prior to sticking and so should anyone else.
Photobucket

These are the tools and hardware and wood furring strips I'll be using along with screws, you must use screws:
Photobucket

White poly - use a lightweight clear poly otherwise - you see the furring strips are in place - label the plants and add a date and mark your home calendar as to when you should be applying your fungicides and as to when the cuttings should be starting to root. A simple tug done lightly will let you know if they are rooting:
Photobucket
Strips are now screwed to the box and the date is on as well as the plant material in the box is clearly written there as well:
Photobucket

Photobucket

After this photo, I draped multiple layers of shade cloth over the chamber.

My cuttings were not disturbed and they now rest in my hoophouse for the winter. If you have no hoophouse, then find other means of protection.

Take care,

Dax
p.s. the next one to possilby two years the cuttings must be kept in dappled light, under a shade structure or in more shade then sun. 3hours of afternoon sun is ok but that's all. Otherwise treat them as rhododendrons for example - up against the east side of your home.


 o
RE: River Birch propagation

I grow these from seed all the time and give away.
I would be happy to send you seedlings or seed come spring, just pay postage.
The seed germnates in about seven days just spread on soil and kept moist.
They grow like weeds!!

Grancru
jtcrane@aol.com


 o
RE: River Birch propagation

Awesome info gardener365.

grancru, I wasn't aware that they seed. Looks like seed is easier. I'll let you know.

Thank you so much to both of you! :)


 o
RE: River Birch propagation

River Birch seed pods begin to swell in the spring, dry and fall over a couple weeks. To be honest they make a mess and germinate all to easily.

Seeds should be available for harvest in the near future.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Trees Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here