Yamadori Birch Advice

I intend on collecting a larger Birch in the coming winter months. I have collected smaller sizes with great results but my question is, as this is a much larger tree what percentage of the canopy and branches can I reduce whilst still being able to collect the tree. With previous trees I have not needed to reduce the canopy at the time of collecting but with the size of this tree it would be the only feasible way all help would be appreciated.

Hey Mike,
If you have the means, I would prune the tree hard this coming spring and give it the entirety of next spring/summer to build new growth before you collect it (the following winter/spring). Even better, do a perimeter root cut this summer so it starts to build new roots for the remainder of the season, closer to the trunk.

If you are unsure, practice patience.

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Hi Raydomz, thanks for the advice. I would do this if I had the opportunity but the land owner is going to be removing all the trees come this spring. My big concern is birch can suffer from dieback and as the tree would need cutting substantially do I need to leave it with some branching or can I go back to low trunk? If I can how will the tree respond? Would I be better doing the cut in winter or late summer? Birch are not a species I have much knowledge on but as the tree will be removed regardless I would like to try and recover it. But I don’t want my efforts to be wasted if I can help it.

Leave as much of the canopy as you can to collect it…if you can leave it all then leave it all and let the tree decide what to die back. Your not going to be able to guess with high accuracy root to canopy ratio, nevermind what root section is supporting what part of the tree. If you have to remove some because of logistics I would cut it now and seal the wound with putty. I don’t like cutting birches after September they are too unpredictable with dieback.

Thanks for the reply, I guess the big question is will it survive a canopy reduction and the collection process

Well it sounds like you’ll have to take the risk if the owner is going to remove it regardless. I wouldn’t be afraid of trying the reduction now as proposed up above. That at least gives the tree a little time between actions (collect in spring).

I have had good success reducing the canopy in late spring -mid summer and collecting in the fall same year …with silver birch and beech. I prefer this to reducing the canopy at time of digging (one big action at a time, right)
If you can wait right up until bud break in the spring and take your time extracting the roots I’d say your in a high probability of success percentage!

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I’m in agreement with NEBeech, you’re in the middle of prime growth right now- do a canopy reduction now and let the tree push some new shoots to prevent die back!
You could also do some major root cuts now and let the tree push new roots closer to trunk, possibly helping reduce risk at collecting. It’s all a gamble but a solid plan gives you the best chance of success, a heat bed will give it a higher success chance too! Good luck


Thanks for the advice everyone, I have brought the canopy down and will see how much it pushes for the rest of the year. Update the thread with progress as and when we get to those points

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