Birch has long been considered a symbol of Russia. For hundreds of years, this plant has inspired artists to create unique works of art. The birch was admired by poets who described its beauty in their poems and odes. This culture occupies no less honorable place today, but already in the art of bonsai. Birch grown using this technology is especially attractive.
The fashion for miniature trees came from China. But in a fairly short time, she gained immense popularity in Europe. Flower growers all over the world are growing small trees in pots.
From this article you can learn how to grow a bonsai tree from birch, about the features of the technology, and also see photos of the final result.
Birch and bonsai technique
The plant has several undeniable advantages. Birch has a natural elegance. Its small leaves and unique bark color make it a distinct crop. These factors are key toformation of bonsai. Birch has the ability to drop branches, which can adversely affect the appearance of the plant.
Initially, the lower part of the crown dies. These are branches that perform the function of the shaping parts of the tree, determining its parameters. Many people mistakenly believe that branch death is due to plant disease. But this is a natural process for birch.
Bonsai (see photo in the article) is often created using this tree. It's all about pruning. If it is performed in the necessary way, then the death of the lower branches of the tree can be avoided. Pruning is considered correct, contributing to the concentration of the growth force of the lower part of the plant. Thanks to this, this part of the crown does not die.
Benefits of Birch Bonsai
A distinctive feature of a plant is its leaves. In birch, they are small, cone-shaped. In mid-spring, the first inflorescences appear on it. They are also called earrings. In addition, the white color of the bark makes this tree recognizable.
Birch has become popular in the art of bonsai due to its unpretentiousness and adaptability. It takes root quite quickly, and the wounds heal well. In addition, the birch bonsai tree produces a large number of new shoots in a short time.
Skeletal branches are formed in this culture in the first two years of existence. If on a personal plot you need to drain places with excess moisture, then birch is perfect for this purpose. However, a large tree can shade a large area of soil. To avoid this,pruning is performed. With its help, you can form a crown and control its size. This will allow you to grow bonsai from birch with your own hands. It will be a wonderful decoration of the site.
Choosing the desired variety
Before you grow a birch bonsai, you need to decide what kind of plant will be used. This culture has many varieties, most of them are great for bonsai. Most commonly used species:
- Betula davurica. This plant is originally from Asia, it has a dark trunk and grows well in shady places. Its unique feature is the complete absence of birch bark.
- Betula lenta. This type of birch has unusual oval leaves and a bizarre trunk. This plant grows mainly in North America, its key feature is longevity. This birch can live up to 300 years.
- Betula papyrifera. This type of plant is distinguished by its unpretentiousness and the unique appearance of the leaves. They are very similar to tissue paper, for which this birch got its name. In addition, this species has a very beautiful developed crown and bright white bark.
How to plant correctly
A plant for planting can be chosen from the nearest forest belt or purchased in advance and planted on your site. It is noteworthy that the height of the birch should not exceed 75-80 centimeters. Only plants of such type can be used for bonsai.sizes.
Dig up a birch with the utmost care. After that, you need to trim the roots in accordance with the size of the pot. It is noteworthy that the use of containers less than fifty centimeters in diameter is not allowed. As a drainage, a small layer of expanded clay should be poured to the bottom. After that, the pot is filled with a mixture consisting of sand, peat, clay and soil. Once the planting of the tree is complete, the surface of the soil should be covered with moss.
After the plant is rooted, it will sprout young shoots and branches. Therefore, with the beginning of the spring period, a wire is attached to them. This will form the skeleton of the bonsai. However, with the onset of the cold season, the wire must be removed.
Birch tolerates pruning without complications. In one year, you can form a full-fledged crown, planting in a pot and pruning the roots will slow down its growth. However, it is necessary to control not only the dimensions of the tree, but also its shape. For this, regular pruning is carried out.
It is important to remember that thick branches of a tree can only be removed in winter, and thin ones - all year round. Large shoots should not be cut in the spring due to the fact that the plant lets out juice. In addition, this procedure is best avoided during the active growth of the tree. During this period, the risk of branch death is increased. It is best to apply garden var on cuts.
Only large leaves are removed from birch bonsai. They need to be pruned in late spring.
A hallmark of bonsai frombirch is unpretentious in care, but some simple rules must be followed. It is necessary to water the plant regularly, but moderation is important. In the winter season, watering is minimal. The soil at this time should be slightly dry. On especially hot summer days, spraying birch foliage is allowed. But it is prohibited at other times, as it may adversely affect the he alth of the tree.
In the first months after planting in a pot, birch should not be fertilized. In addition, feeding during periods of culture illness is prohibited. Fertilizers are applied only in spring. The best option would be mineral fertilizers. Organics can also be used, but only at the end of May.
Unfortunately, the birch has a lot of different enemies. One of the main ones is a tube-roller, which devours its young shoots and leaves. The sign by which the appearance of this pest is determined is foliage twisted into a tube.
The bark beetle is no less a threat to the birch. It penetrates the bark of the tree and spoils the trunk from the inside. Moths and silkworms can cause great damage. Curly leaves appear from their activity.
Treatment in this case is one. Damaged areas of the bark are removed, the birch is treated with an organophosphorus insecticidal preparation. Copper-based solutions can also be used.