How to Prune Betula

Overview

Betula, or birch trees, are mostly native to North America and come in many varieties, from the gray birch to the river birch. They are hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 through 9, depending on the variety, and grow to heights of 30 to 50 feet with a spread of 20 to 35 feet. Birch trees bleed heavily when they are pruned; they should be pruned only in the late fall, according to master gardener Phyllis Heuerman.

Step 1

Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches at the trunk of the betula tree with a pruning saw. Wipe down the saw between each cut with bleach to avoid spreading disease throughout the tree.

Step 2

Remove any vertical or weak branches at the trunk of the betula tree with the pruning saw. Make the pruning cut about 1/2 inch from the trunk of the tree.

Step 3

Remove any sagging branches around the base of the betula tree that might impair an adult's movement around the trunk of the tree. Cut off the branches with the pruning saw, making the cut 1/2 inch from the trunk of the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning saw
  • Bleach
  • Insecticide

References

  • USDA Forest Service: Gray Birch
  • USDA Forest Service: River Birch
  • The Master Gardeners: When and How to to Prune Tress and Shrubs
  • USDA Forest Service: How to Prune Trees, Page 1
  • USDA Forest Service: How to Prune Trees, Page 2
Keywords: prune betula, pruning betula, prune betula trees, trim betula

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.