Caring for River Birch
Water regularly if rainfall is scarce for the first year or two until the young birch is well-established.
Spread 2 or 3 inches of some organic material such as chopped leaves, wood chips or commercial bark product over its root zone, but not against its trunk. This mulch will help the soil stay moist, discourage weeds and improve the soil as it gradually decomposes. Renew the mulch for winter.
When the tree has been in place for at least six months, sprinkle some granular slow-acting fertilizer formulated for trees and shrubs on the mulch for the rain to soak in.
When the tree gets older, keep an eye out for branches that have died out deep in the dense canopy. Prune them off promptly.
To create a multiple-stemmed tree, cut back the original leader to nearly soil level when it is only a year or two old to stimulate new stem growth. The clump tree will be a bit shorter than a typical single-stemmed one.