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lowering the height of a large silverbirch

Sharon7Sharon7 Posts: 1
Is it too late to get a tree surgeon to shorten the top of my approx 40 year old tree.. I last had it done about 4 years ago but wasnt happy with the results ( it looked uneven) and ive been caught out by really bad cold weather the last 2 years and left it too late. What should I be asking a tree surgeon to ensure I get the correct person.


  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    Removing the top from a birch will result in an ugly tree. There will inevitably be a lot of haphazard regrowth around the top.

    A much better way to let light into the base of birches is to remove lower horizontal branches.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,149

    I have friends who have their birch trees topped and thinned regularly to reduce wind resistance as they were planted too close to the house and are a potential danger in strong winds.   A good tree surgeon will do it without making the tree look ugly.

    You should be able to ask for photos of trees he's done or else a list of his clients whom you can call.    Don't leave it too long as the sap will be rising soon, if ithasn't started already, and your tree could bleed to death.     

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,160

    But birch sap wine would be an option. 

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    There is a certificate of competence a good tree surgeon should advertise as having. Can't remember what it is but if you look at yellow page adverts you should see it.

  • A lot of people advertising as tree surgeons  or tree care specialists have H&S and chain saw certificates - this does not mean that they have the expertise necessary to shape a tree - you may find some help here image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • To follow on from Dovefromabove, I know of a well established and very qualified Tree Surgeons who are presently expanding in the UK... They're a family business and know what they are doing as Tree Surgeons... I guess there's no room for theory when it comes to arboriculture...

  • my husband has cut  a branch of my silver birch. please tell me if i can do anything to stop it bleeding to death???? 10 March in Norfolk

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    I had to cut the top of mine a few years ago as it was interfering with telephone wires. It did look very ugly when it was done but ok once it was clothed in green. You get a lot of twiggy growth from the cut ends and this needs to be lopped regularly. I have done this every 2nd year - correction - I have had this done every second year! ALso has given an opportunity to shape it a bit better every time. Silver birches are not really a garden tree unless you have a huge garden or have one of the lower growing cultivar ones. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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