Transplanting Birch trees
We've got 2 lots outside of Anchortown, one near Trapper Creek and one near McCarthy.
At Trapper, we've had a number of large spruce trees near the cabin die from beetles. I've taken them down and now there is an opening in the forest in front of the cabin. My wife wants some birch trees to fill the space.
At McCarthy I had some bulldozer work done and my wife thinks too much got cleared. I promised I'd put in some birch trees to fill the excess space.
My thought is to go find some nice ones that are still small enough to dig up and move, maybe 6 feet or so tall. Trapper is relatively wet with lots of snow and not too cold in the winter. McCarthy is relatively dry with much colder lows in Jan/Feb.
Any tips on helping them get established? I'm guessing fall (around now) would be the best time to transplant. I was also thinking some fertilizer to get them to grow faster but not sure on the type.
My best luck has been to plant the birch trees in the spring right after the leaves are on.
Have tried every time of the year & spring gave me best results.
About a 10 day window to move them with high success rate. Leaves are on but not full size. once leaves are full on & full size success rate drops.
Sugar has left the roots & the new leaves feed & help repair the damaged roots from transplanting.
I just pull them out of the ground & put them in a tub of water right as I pull them. Put where I want them, water for 2 weeks or so, real wet helps. almost 100% success.
They grow fast. I did 36 this spring (4' to 8' ones) & only lost 1.
Contact Patricia Joyner she is with the Forestry Service and she can help you get lined out when and how. Her contact info.
She would be glad to lend a hand.
If you try planting in the fall I wouldn't fertilize till spring. Fertilizer could cause rapid growth that will result in die backs over winter.
I wouldn't fertilize for the first year. If you do fertilize I would stick to a water soluble because they are less harsh for the plant. I would mulch heavily with leaves out to the dripline.