When Does a Birch Tree Shed Its Seeds?
The birch tree sheds its seeds during the late spring to early autumn months, depending on the species. Birch trees produce large quantities of seed. For example, the River birch (Betula nigra L.) yields approximately 375,000 seeds per lb., according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Planting Birch Tree Seeds
Gather birch seeds in mid- to late summer when the small, 1/2-inch-long cones are still soft and green. Gather several cones in a paper bag. Shake the bag vigorously to knock loose the papery, winged seeds. Pick out the seeds and discard the chaff. Press the seeds onto the surface and cover them with a 1/16-inch-thick layer of coarse sand. Cover each pot with a plastic bag to hold moisture around the birch seeds. Move the pots to a warm, sunny area such as inside a cold frame or indoors near a large window. Warm the pots with a propagation mat set to between 70 and 85 F during the day and 65 F at night. Keep the sand mixture moist in the top inch at all times. Watch for germination in four to six weeks.
- USDA Fact Sheet: River Birch
- Clemson University Extension: Sustainable Nursery Production -- Birch-Betula Spp.
- California Polytechnic State University: Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute -- River Birch
- California Polytechnic State University: Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute -- Monarch Birch
- USDA Forest Service: Woody Plant Seed Manual -- Betula Spp.
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Landscape Plant Propagation Information -- Betula Nigra
- University of California Alameda County Master Gardeners: Your Alameda County Garden Month-by-Month
- "National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees"; Elbert Little; 2008