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Did I plant my birch too close to the fence?

Posted by mamagen Califonia (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 8, 08 at 1:21

I planted a birch tree up against our fence last summer and I am thinking it might be too close. My husband thinks we should move it, but I thought birches grew rather erect and could be controlled by prunning. It is approximately 32 inches from the fence. Should I move it, and if so when?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Did I plant my birch too close to the fence?

I think it is too close. I have a birch that I planted close to my wall. It's been there for around 15 years. I plan on cutting it down this summer, because I am afraid it is going to tear up the wall and foundation of my house.

I would guess it would be a good time to move it now.


RE: Did I plant my birch too close to the fence?

What's on the other side of the fence? If it's a neighbor's yard you may want to get their input as to whether the tree will be a problem.

In our neighborhood the original landscaping company contracted by the builders placed many trees closer than 32" from the fence lines. Some of the trees get much larger than your birch will likely grow (Coastal Redwoods for example). It's never been a problem for us or our neighbors. If we need to trim a branch back we just talk over the fence and come to an agreement (I realize that not everyone is lucky enough to have such reasonable people living next door).

If your yard abuts an easement or a greenbelt, I don't think 32" would be an issue at all...


RE: Did I plant my birch too close to the fence?

I share my fence with my neighbor. They didn't seem to mind when I planted it, but they are in the process of selling the home and I am not sure if the next neighbor will be so nice, especially if it starts ot affect their ocean view! Would it cause a ton of stress if I moved it?

RE: Did I plant my birch too close to the fence?

I think you did; even though they are relatively narrow they still spread about 15 feet. Our home has a few 15+ year old birch, about the same distance from the fence as yours, but already mature when we moved in; past neighbors have hacked the overhanging branches on their side and the result is the trees look terrible on that side (which can be seen from our yard due to the layout). I can understand why it was done to one--it would otherwise shade a lemon tree.

I originally planned to take the birch down b/c they looked really sick, but each year we've lived here they look a little better--they must like having a gardener live here :-)

I think Italian cypress are good along a fence line if you want privacy etc w/o the overgrowth. Also small shrubs limbed up like trees, or vines. I would not count on a neighbor to appreciate the overhanging branches of a birch, although it's possible!

I don't know the layout of your yard, but a clump of 3-5 birch is a nice focal point so maybe you could find a more centralized spot to show them off. I am able to grow many full and full-partial sun plants under my birch b/c the shade is light.

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