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Birch tree dilemma

Hi everyone! 

We recently moved into a new house with a long narrow garden separated into 2 by this large summerhouse. 


I've been reading a lot about wildlife gardens (Chris Baines) and woodland gardens (Beth Chatto) and I feel like a woodland edge style planting would suit us very well :) 

There are currently 4 tall birch trees visible from the conservatory which we use to hang bird feeders. We get a lot of birds (tits, all sorts of finches, thrushes, yellowhammers) and it's lovely and peaceful.

However I feel like the height of the trees makes the narrow garden feel a bit claustrophobic. I've read that birch trees are very beneficial to wildlife and support up to 200 various species so I'm somewhat reluctant to part with them.

Do you think they look out of place? Would you keep them?

I'll be grateful for any advice!

Maria

Posts

  • I think they look good, they draw your eye down to the summerhouse. 
    I think you can top them but that would be such a shame because it would ruin the lovely shape.
    Keep the trunks clean and they will shine in the winter sunlight.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 7,163
    edited January 2019
    @Kmasya I  suppose you could take out the middle one to give a bit more space, and as Chrissy says, cleaning the trunks will make them stand out. I see the pigeons are using them ! Slighty off topic, will you be doing the Garden Bird count ?
  • KmasyaKmasya CambsPosts: 4
    Thank you very much, Chrissy! Perhaps Im overthinking it :)
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 1,265
    What a lovely shaped garden you have to work on. It looks as though someone cared for it at some time previously. I love the birch trees so feel you ought to keep them. Welcome to the forum. There is always someone here to answer any queries you may have in the future. Photos of how work is progressing would be interesting once you get started on it. The main thing is to enjoy it.  :)
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 65,389
    edited January 2019
    Gorgeous garden full of potential 
    love the birches ... definitely don’t ‘top’ them ... they’ll lose all their grace and elegance. 😞 

    What you need is a light coloured ‘something’ (a light coloured stone birdbath maybe?)
    as a focal point in the garden near to the post at the left edge of the decking ... then your eye will start there and move diagonally across the garden via the birches to the white door, increasing the impression of width. 
    Its going to look lovely 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,173
    I think they look lovely.
    As you've only recently moved in, don't be in a rush. I'd live with them maybe for a year, by then you'll have a better idea of what needs to be done.
    Once you've cut something off you can't put it back.
    Also, as they're quite close together, they shouldn't get too big.

    Definitely agree with Dove - don't top them, it'll ruin their beautiful natural shape.
    Birch leaves are quite small and they give a lovely dappled shade beneath.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • KmasyaKmasya CambsPosts: 4
    Thanks everyone for taking time to reply! 
    AnniD said:
    I see the pigeons are using them ! Slighty off topic, will you be doing the Garden Bird count ?
    The pigeons here are so FAT! We are planning on doing our big garden birdwatch tomorrow. We missed it last time but this time we're definitely submitting our results. 

    Fran IOM said:
    What a lovely shaped garden you have to work on. It looks as though someone cared for it at some time previously. 
    I actually think people who owned the house before the people we bought it from drew some inspiration from a local National Trust property where I happen to work (Anglesey Abbey). The silver birches and some peeling cherries (Prunus Serrula) underplanted with small species tulips. It's a great place for birch lovers!


    What you need is a light coloured ‘something’ (a light coloured stone birdbath maybe?)
    as a focal point in the garden near to the post 
    I think this would work really well! Thank you so much!


  • KmasyaKmasya CambsPosts: 4
    Pete.8 said:
    I think they look lovely.
    As you've only recently moved in, don't be in a rush. I'd live with them maybe for a year, by then you'll have a better idea of what needs to be done.
    Once you've cut something off you can't put it back.
    Also, as they're quite close together, they shouldn't get too big.

    Definitely agree with Dove - don't top them, it'll ruin their beautiful natural shape.
    Birch leaves are quite small and they give a lovely dappled shade beneath.
    Thank you Pete! The birches are definitely staying, I'm convinced! haha
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 7,163
    Good ! Funny, when l saw them, it reminded me of Anglesey Abbey !
    I know what you mean about fat pigeons..... 
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