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How to Plant Birch Trees in Containers

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017
Container-grown birch trees require more care.

Container gardening takes a little more work than growing your plants in the ground. Container soil tends to dry out quicker than the soil in your garden. But growing plants in containers gives you more flexibility because you can change the design of your patio garden whenever the whim strikes. Birch trees, in the wild, grow best in cool, moist soils and have shallow root systems. Keep this in mind when growing and caring for your container birch tree and it will thrive. Dwarf weeping birch (Betula pendula Trost's Dwarf) is a variety you may want to consider.

Decide whether to use native soil or potting soil. Birch trees do best when planted in native soil. However, if your soil is highly alkaline, clay or has some other problem, use commercial potting soil.

Choose the appropriate size container. It should be three times the width and twice the depth of the pot in which the birch tree is currently planted. Move the container to its permanent location prior to planting.

Fill the container, halfway, with soil. Remove the birch tree from its pot and gently loosen any roots that are circling around the root ball. Be careful not to disturb the root ball too much.

Place the root ball into the container. When planted, the root flare, or the top of the roots, should be right below the surface of the soil. You may need to add or remove soil at this point to make sure the birch tree will be planted at the proper depth.

Finish filling the container with soil and tamp lightly around the base of the tree with your hands.

Water the tree until the water runs from the bottom of the container. When drainage is complete, water it again and keep the soil moist, but not soggy.


Things You Will Need

  • Potting soil
  • Planting container

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.