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Old Today, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
13,900 posts, read 7,633,840 times
Reputation: 20589

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I've been looking all over for a single white birch. I can only find them in clumps of 3. Is there a reason for this? From the tree's point of view I mean. I've seen them in the woods growing singly and that's what I'd prefer.
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Old Today, 01:46 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
24,254 posts, read 41,002,222 times
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Planted them in 3s is a very old tradition, and has many possible, but unknown origins. One is that they just look better together, another is the roots are crowded and keeps them from getting too tall.The seeds are very light and germinate easily, so they are commonly the first trees to sprout after a forest fire in places where they are native. They can live 100 years but most in gardens do not, and most die at 20-30 years. One big problem is that they are a favorite for destructive woodpeckers. You can surely plant just one if you want to, and not worry about the "Birch Police" getting you.
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Old Today, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
13,900 posts, read 7,633,840 times
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Thanks. Gotta find one 1st. When I say I only want one, not a clump, the nursery people look at me like I've asked to plant poison ivy.


I shall persevere.
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Old Today, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
14,969 posts, read 44,555,456 times
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I used to cut birch for firewood. They often grow in clumps like that. In swampy land, think of them as hardwood bamboo. Be forewarned that they are not a hardy tree generally. There are exceptions, but Hemlock is right, bracelets of woodpecker holes and insect infestations usually cut their lives short.
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