Birch Tree - Growth at base of tree

Asked June 28, 2015, 5:21 PM EDT

This tree is very healthy looking but I have a problem with these shoots at the base every year. What can I do to avoid this problem every year without hurting the tree?

Midland County Michigan trees and shrubs birch

1 Response

Aae tree sprouts--- Hello, --- Sprouts at the base or on the trunk of mature trees are typically from some sort of stress, such as drought, severe weather, trunk, root or branch injury. To reduce the possibility of these sprouts, mulch around the tree 2-3 inches deep, keeping the mulch back from the trunk about 4-6 inches. Water slowly and deeply during time of drought, up to when the ground freezes. Test the soil first by carefully digging a small pilot hole 6 inches deep or so to see if the soil is dry before watering. Do not park vehicles or other heavy objects over the root zone, and keep heavy foot traffic, construction ,digging, etc. off the root zone. Do not nick the bark or any surface root with power equipment or tools. Some species of trees send sprouts up from the base all their lives- it is just part of their nature. Birches are one of these. Here is a link to an article that discusses this issue, and outlines some chemical techniques. The 'NAA' it references is Naphthaleneacetic acid. However, manually removing the sprouts early in spring when the are still young and green is best for the tree and its environment. If you decide to try a chemical control, always read the label and follow all precautions. --Thank you. --- ---