How to Prune a Weeping Birch

Overview

Weeping birch trees make beautiful additions to any lawn or garden. With their long, graceful, weeping limbs and their signature white bark, weeping birch trees are sure to add personality to any landscape. Weeping birch trees are a European variety of the birch tree and are recognized for their white bark that is usually peeling and curling from the trunk and branches. Proper maintenance, such as pruning, of the weeping birch tree is a must in order to keep the tree looking its best. With the right tools and a little time you can easily have your weeping birch tree looking great, and healthy.

Step 1

Prune the weeping birch tree in early spring before the tree begins to bud and form leaves. Pruning the tree after this time can be detrimental to the tree's health.

Step 2

Clean your pruning shears and garden loppers with bleach and a clean cloth before and after pruning each weeping birch tree. The bleach will help protect the tree(s) from disease that could be spread from tree to tree when pruning.

Step 3

Spread a tarp underneath the area of the tree that you will begin pruning. The tarp can be easily pulled from one area underneath the tree to another and will catch all of the clippings, making for easy cleanup once pruning is complete.

Step 4

Prune the lower portions of the weeping birch tree first, using sharp pruning shears. Cut away any branches that are growing into one another, and any small "sucker" branches that are growing out from the trunk of the tree. The goal for the lower extremities of the weeping birch tree is to be able to walk freely underneath the tree without bumping into any branches above your head.

Step 5

Begin working on the higher portions of the weeping birch tree. In some cases using a step ladder and garden loppers can be handy. Remove any long, overgrown, scraggly branches that are sticking out from the rest of the tree. Use the garden loppers to cut larger and higher limbs. The overall shape of a weeping birch should be that of an open umbrella. Keep this image in mind when pruning and shaping the tree.

Step 6

Place all of the clippings from the weeping birch tree onto a compost pile for later use in your garden. Pick up or rake away any debris from around the base of the tree. If branches are left lying on the ground around the tree, they can easily kill the underlying grass and plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Clean cloth
  • Sharp pruning shears
  • Garden loppers
  • Step ladder
  • Tarp

References

  • Birch Tree Care: Step-by-step - Pruning
Keywords: Weeping birch trees, Pruning weeping trees, Pruning birch trees

About this Author

Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on sites such as eHow.