Help with collecting a Paperback Birch


I just joined the Mirai Live forum and have been watching tons of videos. A friend of mine owns a piece of woodland near me that has a Silver Birch or Paperback Birch as I think i heard Ryan refer to them as. The tree is quite tall but has some nice movement lower down in the trunk which I think could make a really nice bonsai.

I have a read/watched some info that said I should reduce the height/trunk chop while in the ground and allow to recover before collecting and putting in a box. I have a few questions, when should I do the chop and when should it be collected after that? I live in the UK.


A paperbark birch is a different species than silver birch. Paperbark birch is native to PNW North America.


Based on my experience (only collected one silver birch- Betula pendula)
I dug it up when the leaves were just started to push, saved the roots I could, though they weren’t a lot. Chopped it just before collection, back to a single dormant bud
Potted it up in a semi organic soil mix and placed it in a shady part.
That was it pretty much.

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My experiance when speaking of digging with birch Is 90% success when dug with swolen buds. When IT comes to making Big cuts or any cuts…IT Is best to Wait for leafs to develop for birch bleeds And tends to let go of branches. And wiring should be Done very gently… best in fall.


Thank you for all the replies, that’s really helpful

Oh yes, it bleeds a lot. High water mobility in these trees.
Which also means do not forget to water when potted up.

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This is the tree i am thinking of collecting, what are your thoughts? I am not sure where the roots are at this stage as it seems to come from under another rotted tree.