Silver Birch Trees

Following on from my post a few weeks ago about felling some Silver Birch trees in our front garden I thought perhaps I would give you a little update. Having apologised for failing to take any photos it was pointed out to me that these would have been helpful so I now have a couple for you.

Garden Gap

The first shows the gap in our frontage. You will see that we are on a corner plot, the two roads both clearly visible and amazingly with no traffic on them. The nearest road (in shadow) is the one our driveway leads onto and is relatively traffic free in any case. The other runs along our north-eastern boundary and is one of the main roads in to and out of our small town so can be busy, especially during the morning and evening ‘rush hours’. The photo is looking north towards the centre of town, which is  beyond the houses you can see.

You probably can’t see too well, due to the shadow, that we have already done some replanting with young laurels and holly, as well as staking some of the self-set trees that we are retaining for the time being. These are  Sycamore, which are little more than weeds and not our choice, but at least they are already there and will provide some leaf cover for the time it takes the other planting to establish. The stump from the trunk that was leaning over and pushing the wall is to the left of the gap, against the remaining trees and we are not able to replant that spot just yet.

This second photo looks towards the north-eastern boundary and the houses on the other side of the main road. Once all the trees and hedging are in full leaf we can usually see very little of the houses.

Silver Birches

There are four of our other Silver Birches shown in the photo, all with ivy smothering their trunks. We have made some effort to kill this off but it grows rampantly around here and soon recovers! You will note that the two trees on the right are just coming into leaf, however there are no leaves (apart from the ivy) showing on the two trees to the left. It appears that they are probably already dead and will in fact have to come out rather sooner than we thought. Such a shame.

It saddens me that we have to take these trees down. I do enjoy the privacy they give us from the nearby houses and the feeling of almost living in a woodland that they provide. When we moved here some eleven years ago, downsizing from our small-holding out-of-town, it was the number of trees surrounding the property that was one of the main things attracting us to it. Even though many tree species can out-live us it is a sad fact that trees also have a limited life-span; in the case of Silver Birches very similar to that of humans! When these have to go we will replace them, though it will be many years before they provide the same degree of cover.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. julespaige
    May 02, 2016 @ 11:42:17

    Thank you for your photos. We live in a suburban area between city and country.
    I like my quiet yard. 🙂


    • Libby
      May 02, 2016 @ 15:04:11

      We used to live further out and we still own the 9 acre field up at our old smallholding, just a mile up the road. Our ‘town’ is really only the size of a village but is called a town because it had a market (livestock etc.) – alas it does no longer – but that is the criteria here in the UK. We are only a few minutes walk from the centre but have a good sized garden (yard?), plenty of open space and trees around us so it feels more rural. Thanks for the emailed photos. 🙂


  2. Soul Gifts
    May 02, 2016 @ 13:28:30

    Takes me back to Europe. Silver birch was a tree that was used to make bundles of birch tree leaves to use in the sauna. You hit yourself with them (sounds awful, but feels wonderful). The smell is beautiful, the ritual is weird, good for the skin and circulation. Having someone do this to your back is bliss 🙂 In spring and summer, people would make lots of them, dry and store them. Then freshen them for use by soaking them in water. Just a bit of useless trivia if you don’t have a home sauna. We do. But no birch trees. We live in Australia and it’s not a common tree here


    • Libby
      May 02, 2016 @ 14:59:55

      Sounds great but unfortunately no home sauna here! The trees had been topped before we moved here and this tends to weaken them and shorten their life. I t will be a sad day when they are all gone. 😦


  3. The Weekly Day
    May 03, 2016 @ 03:32:06

    Very cool, Libby. It’s all clear to me now 🙂 By the way, does ivy kill trees? Because one of our neighbors planted a lot of ivy on our border and it’s climbing up several white pine trees.


    • Libby
      May 03, 2016 @ 15:30:23

      It takes a long time but, yes it can, it is parasitic and sucks goodness from the tree. It is very difficult to get rid of once it gets a hold. I actually quite like ivy over our fences where it adds some greenery but it is can be a problem when it climbs up trees. I hope this doesn’t cause problems with your neighbours! It can also be a problem when climbing up the brickwork of buildings as it damages the bricks and loosens the mortar. If you cut off the stems near the bottom that should kill what is growing up the trees, but be vigilant as new shoots don’t take long to take over. Try to keep it clear of the base of the trees if you don’t want it to climb up them.


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