Water Birch, River Birch (betula nigra)
0.5 grams (approx 190 seeds) £1.15
1 gram (approx 379 seeds) £1.75
2 grams(approx 759 seeds) £2.15
5 grams (approx 1898 seeds) £4.25
10 grams (approx 3795 seeds) £7.50
25 grams (approx 9488 seeds) £15.50
50 grams (approx 18976 seeds) £28.00
Please note that these seeds require 6 weeks stratification before they will germinate. For a sowing date of March 1st this should begin on January 18th
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Germination, Sowing and After Care Information for
River Birch (betula nigra)
After between 4 and 6 weeks under these conditions the seeds are ready to be sown. In general, many seeds will fail to germinate unless treated in this way, simply sowing untreated seeds in compost at room temperature will not break down the dormancy and germination will be disappointing. You can also choose to mix the seed with moistened vermiculite, fine perlite or sand. These help to stop the seeds from clumping together and allow more between the seeds.
Fill your chosen container with a good quality general potting compost and firm it down well. Suitable containers could be plant pots, seed trays or plug trays or even improvised containers with drainage holes. Firm the compost gently and sow the seeds on the surface, if you have pretreated your seeds without any vermiculite/perlite etc the seeds will be difficult to separate from each other. If you add a little dry sand at this point and mix thoroughly you will find that the sand separates the seed and makes it much easier to sow. Cover the seeds with a couple of millimeters of vermiculite or failing that a fine layer of sieved compost. Follow with a gentle watering and keep them at room temperature. Germination will begin from a few weeks following sowing.
The seedlings are very small and delicate, they need to be kept out of hot sun until the first true leaves emerge. Shading and a moist seedbed are very important for successful germination. Seedling growth can be very rapid and have myself produced Birch seedlings over 1 meter tall in their first growing season, although heights of 20-50cm are more usual. It is preferable to produce shorter, stocky, well branched seedlings rather than long leggy ones. These can only be grown if the sowing density is relatively low.
Keep the seedlings well watered and free from competing weeds. Growth will accelerate in the second and subsequent years and the developing young trees should be planted in their permanent position usually by the end of their second year. Large trees of these species do not transplant well and should only be moved during the dormant season.