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Silver Birch Guild?

 
Matt Burgess
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Does anyone know of/can suggest a guild for a silver birch tree (mature/adolescent). I can't believe how hard this is to find out!

Also an info on whether it is a good nitrogen fixer etc. As a pioneer I'm assuming it's good a nutrient accumulation. Really an info would be good.

Background is that it's in our new back garden, we are keeping it and I'd like to know what to put around it. Very much in zone one (small garden!).

Thanks in advance.
Matt
 
Paulo Bessa
pollinator
Posts: 340
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
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I am in Iceland, here downy birch is the native tree. Next to it grow dwarf willows, lady mantles, meadowsweet, angelica, sometimes nettles and valerian, currants, crowberries and blueberroes, and lupins.

Birches do not have big roots, so they are good to grow around them. They also do not shade much, so another nice thing for your vegetables.

I have a birch on the edge of my garden. Plants grow fine nearby.

They probably accumulate nutrients but I am not sure if they are nitrogen fixers. Probably not. They are however pioneer trees, after the other smaller vegetation has settled.
 
Matt Burgess
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Thanks Paulo, didn't think anyone was out there!

Useful information there and nice to see a working examples of the plants that you have beneath it.

Pretty sure they are not nitrogen fixers also - no mention on searches. Birches come up in Martin Crawford's Forest Gardening book, and there's no mention of nitrogen there either.
 
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