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The Greater New Orleans Bonsai Society • View topic - River Birch

River Birch

Caring for and stying your bonsai. Species specific questions answered here.

River Birch

Postby KathyB » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:04 pm

Has anyone worked with River Birch? They seem to have fairly small leaves, nice bark and good fall color - but are they suitable for bonsai?

Kathy
Kathy Barbazon
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Harahan, Louisiana
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Re: River Birch

Postby Mitch Thomas » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:45 pm

Hi Kathy
I have never tried one, but they should do well. They are a member of the hornbeem family I belive, and that exfoliating bark is way kool! If your going to do one, now is the time to do a heavy chop on one. Try to find one with a good base and surface roots!

Mitch.
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Re: River Birch

Postby KathyB » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:17 pm

Thanks Mitch
If I find a nice one, I think I'm going to try it. The only thing I could find bad about them is that their life span isn't as long as some others - but as long as I don't kill it, it will probably outlive me. They also seem to like being wet like cypress. I'm thinking probably a mix of bonsai soil and miracle grow potting mix.

Kathy
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Re: River Birch

Postby Zach Smith » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:50 pm

River birch is not a desirable species for bonsai, as it tends to drop entire branches and even trunks (for multi-trunk specimens). They were a landscape fad in the 80s until folks figured out the propensity to die back. Then that business pretty much dried up.

Zach
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Re: River Birch

Postby KathyB » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:18 pm

Zach,

Another GNOBS member told me the same thing. Also, there are some planted around my workplace and I've since noticed how often they break even in just a regular thunderstorm.

Kathy
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Re: River Birch

Postby Zach Smith » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:56 am

KathyB wrote:Zach,

Another GNOBS member told me the same thing. Also, there are some planted around my workplace and I've since noticed how often they break even in just a regular thunderstorm.

Kathy

Yeah, best to devote your time and energy to better species.

Zach
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