Silver Birch Issues

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Silver Birch Issues

Postby jacob » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:39 pm

Hi some questions on my Silver Birch.

I have planted about 15 1.5M apart around a L shaped corner block. They were all mounded 10-15cm up.

Soil type is heavy northern Melbourne suburbs clay.

Soil dug down about 40cm, 1-2kg Gypsum per 1m2 was mixed in and watered in (apparently that helps). Soil was 80/20. 80% parent mix and 20% Certified organic compost. Both soils and gypsum mixed together by shovel in a wheelbarrow before upending into the dug out 600mm wide garden beds. After say 40cm down though, is hard clay that resisted pick attack quite well and took ages to remove say another 5cm of it.
Obviously when the water hits this area it will slowly rise upwards like its an aquariam.

Drip pipe (Anti Syhon, pressure compensated) with 30spacing's and 1.6Lper hour drippers were installed with it running straight down the middle of the 600mm wide bed, then formed into a circle around the tree (roughly 4 drippers per tree) and on to the next tree. Watering period set automatically using a Galcon timer.

15 x bare rooted silver birches were planted in June 2008. All took up leaves in various intensities around September. Except one.
IMG_1538.JPG


It has never leaved yet when scratched displays green under the trunk. The best it had were these little green leaves growing out of the bottom of the trunk at soil level.


IMG_1537.JPG

I took it out as you can see here


Whilst the top 15 or 20cm was fairly dry and friable, definately part of the lower roots was noticeably moister harder clay packed around them.

Question: Does anyone know why it never had leaves appear?, I can say its in the wettest part of the garden bed as its about 660cm from the end of the run, and the brown plastic coloured flush valve that is part of the drip pipe irrigation, often spurts out water alot when the system starts and stops. Could the water slowly be hitting the hard clay bottom and them moving along the bed and then obviously vertically up over time?
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Just before taking out.jpg
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Re: Silver Birch Issues

Postby jacob » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:53 pm

Same tree, root ball closeup
IMG_1544.JPG
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Re: Silver Birch Issues

Postby Pam » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:05 am

Jacob, you're incredibly brave bare-rooting a tree at this time of the year. Leaves or not, even the twigs still look healthy, so Im guessing it was just taking a little longer to settle in.

If the clay is still hard I'd suggest it probably could do with more gypsum, and by the looks of it, a good dose of organic matter.
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Re: Silver Birch Issues

Postby Tini » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:42 am

Jacob, how far up the trunk is it actually green? In my experience, when a tree is starting to shoot from the base, the top of the tree has usually died.
The bigger a tree is when being transplanted the more stress there is on the tree, so you did not necessarily do anything wrong. But in saying that, a tree with no (or little leaves) needs a lot less water than ones with leaves. If the top part of the tree has died, it will grow again from the base, but you won't have the same shape as the others. If this is the case, personally, I would probably buy another one come winter.
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Re: Silver Birch Issues

Postby Pam » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:53 am

But the top part of the tree doesn't appear to be dead Tini - the colour is still good.
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Re: Silver Birch Issues

Postby Tini » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:12 am

Pam wrote:But the top part of the tree doesn't appear to be dead Tini - the colour is still good.


Its very hard to tell in a photo, but in the first pic, the tree in question looks a different colour to the ones behind it. The first couple of feet look OK but after that it looks a little funny.
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