MOONSHINE DESIGNS NURSERY
Milan, Illinois
Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Seeds Shipped To Your Door

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Paper White Birch Seeds

Betula Papyrifera

   

          Clump above is 4 yrs. old*                      Typical Bark                                                      Fall Color

The Birch family  is noted for its fall leaf color, and white peeling bark. They also grow fairly quickly!  These are the trees that were used by the Indians for making canoes

Zones 2 - 7.  Will do poorly south of zone 7.

Naturally grows in clumps, so plant three or four together.

Grows 40 - 80+ feet, depending on location, and prefers cool, damp areas, that are well drained.

Best adapted to cooler climates as it does poorly in high summer heat, especially root zone heat!
Prefers well-drained, slightly acid sandy loam soils
Full sun.
Avoid spring pruning to prevent bleeding.

When planting to the landscape, do NOT set the tree deeper than it was growing in the container or the upper roots will grow around the trunk at the base and kill it.

See also:  White Weeping Birch
 

Packet contains 200+ seeds.  $2.75 per packet  Item 78813

 

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Seed Culture

Betula Papyrifera (Paper White Birch)

The Seeds need to be stratified before they will germinate. To avoid using up space with a myriad of pots during stratification,  place about a tablespoonful of seed-starting mix, (such as Jiffy-mix or Redi-Earth) just moistened (not wet), in a plastic zip-lock bag.   Place the bag in the refrigerator (not freezer) for at least 9 weeks, or until you're ready to grow the seedlings. Spread the mixture over a sterile seed sowing mixture that is moist, but not soaking wet.  Cover with a piece of glass or plastic and place in a bright area, but not in direct sun.  Do not cover the seeds with media.  They need light to germinate.  The seeds will germinate at different rates, but most will start to sprout about 2 weeks after you remove them to room temperature. Grow on in pots for at least 6 weeks after germination.  Harden off before planting out.  Germination in nature normally takes place in the spring following dispersal in the fall.  The small seeds are sensitive to soil moisture and temperature.  Thus shade usually favors germination and initial establishment by preventing seedbeds from drying out and reaching excessively high temperatures.

*OPTIONAL ACCELERATED BIRCH TREE GROWTH METHOD

ATTENTION TO DETAIL IS PARAMOUNT!

ALTERNATE BIRCH SEED GERMINATION:  Sow on surface of wet seed starting medium such as Jiffy-Mix.  Cover with a sheet of glass or plastic.  Expose to 24 hour fluorescent light 12" from seed flat for 9 days.  Alternate light/ dark in 12 hour shifts for the next 7-10 days.  Ventilate flat when germination begins.  DO NOT let the seeds dry out during this treatment.  They will not recover.  Keep seed flat medium between 65 and 80 degrees until germination.  Once most have germinated, remove to 55-75 degree temperatures.  Keep moist and well ventilated.  Fertilize with 1/4 strength 20-20-20 water soluble fertilizer at every watering.  When two sets of true leaves have developed, transplant to individual cells or small pots.  Grow on for 6 weeks in light shade after transplanting.  Shift to 1 gallon pots using a good quality potting mix such as ProMix BX with 1 tablespoon of Osmocote 18-6-12 controlled release fertilizer per gallon container.  Move to full sun.  Keep watered.

At the end of the first year, trees should be 12-20" tall.  Second year:  Shift to 5 gallon pot in early spring.  Plant three in a tight group if you want a clump effect or singly if single specimens are desired.  Use a soilless mix of composted pine bark and sand in a 50-50 ratio.  Add 1/4 cup of Osmocote 18-6-12 per 5 gallon container at planting, mixing in well.  Do not plant seedlings deeper in this pot than they were growing in the 1 gallon pots.  Keep well watered and in full sun.  Stake with bamboo sticks if necessary.  Keep lower 1/3 of the tree free from lateral branches.  At the end of the second year, trees should be 36-48" or more in height.  60" is not uncommon.

Third year:  Top dress with 1/2 cup Osmocote 22-5-6 Topdress Special per 5 gallon container.  Keep well watered and in full sun.  Space containers on 4' centers if raising clump form.  At the end of the third year using the above method, trees should be 6-10' tall, well branched, and showing white bark color on at least 50% of the trees.

When planting to the landscape, do NOT set the tree deeper than it was growing in the container or the upper roots will grow around the trunk at the base and kill it.

 

Brand names mentioned in the above text are what we use.  We are not necessarily endorsing their products.  There are alternate products that will do the same thing and give similar results.